PayPal President Plans Consumer Marketing Push; Gives Nod to Bitcoin, Frowns on NFC (Dec. 10, 2013)
PayPal is bullish on Bitcoin, negative on NFC and ready to begin a major marketing push of the company’s buildup of mobile payment technology at the POS, according to David Marcus, PayPal president. In interviews over the past week with Bloomberg TV, Marcus said PayPal plans to “double down” on its mobile payment technology investments, and next year the company will launch a consumer marketing campaign touting the hundreds of thousands of U.S. POS locations where consumers can use mobile devices to pay. Noting that PayPal now is integrated with 30 different POS systems, including NCR and MICROS, Marcus said PayPal intends to become the world’s “payment operating system,” so consumers can opt to pay via PayPal more easily through any channel—Web, P2P or POS.
In Paris this week at the LeWeb conference, Marcus said Bitcoin has a bright future, though PayPal is not yet ready to let people link Bitcoin wallets to their PayPal accounts. Bitcoin eventually could become a convenient way for consumers to store value and protect against inflation, if the regulatory framework becomes clearer, Marcus said.
Bitcoin also is more likely to catch on widely with consumers than NFC payment, which is “technology for the sake of technology,” Marcus said, noting that tapping to pay with a phone versus swiping a card doesn’t solve any existing problem in payments. “People love shopping but hate paying,” Marcus told Bloomberg, adding that PayPal wants to make payments invisible for consumers with innovations, such as PayPal Beacon, which enables hands-free, automatic payment at the POS for participating merchants and consumers.
PayPal next year aims to re-accelerate its growth rate, which slowed to 18 percent during the third quarter of this year, from a high of 25 percent in June 2012, Marcus acknowledged. As more consumers shift to mobile devices for online or POS purchases, PayPal will absorb a greater share of those payments, Marcus predicts.