January 31, 2017
PayPal reported revenue and profits in line with expectations late last week, but its most significant announcement may have come not in its earnings call, but from CEO Dan Schulman in a Bloomberg News interview later that day. Schulman told Bloomberg that the online payment pioneer has “been in conversations” with the e-commerce retailing trailblazer about being included as a payment alternative on the Amazon platform. Schulman said there were no concrete details to announce, just a mutual exploration of possible benefits.
Schulman has made a practice since PayPal’s separation from former parent company eBay of partnering with former adversaries. In the payments arena the two also are competitive—Amazon Payments has long tried to make inroads as an online payment method. The company has always found acceptance challenging due to the unease many merchants have in partnering with one of their fiercest competitors. The current détente may be a sign of PayPal’s continued efforts to find common ground with competitors or Amazon’s interest in PayPal’s user base. As Schulman told Bloomberg, “We’re closing in on 200 million users on our platform right now. At that scale, it’s hard for any retailer to think about not accepting PayPal.”