PayPal, one of the fintech originals, has had its fair share of news headlines in the past year. The fintech has been busy with its acquisition of rewards platform Honey, bringing QR code payment technology back into style, launching a buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) offering, and helping its users embrace cryptocurrency.
So where will PayPal run with these in 2021?
The company recently made its intentions a bit more clear during its third quarter earnings call this week, and TechCrunch tuned in to dig up some analysis about the company’s plans for next year. Here are some of the takeaways.
Digital wallet redesign
PayPal has always been an alternative banking solution, but has lacked some of the tools to help it effectively compete with its traditional FI counterparts. The company plans to redesign its digital wallet by enhancing the direct deposit experience, offering billpay tools, providing check cashing capabilities, and integrating budgeting tools.
Combined, these elements will help PayPal offer a challenger banking experience. All the while, PayPal will benefit from having an established user base. As of the second quarter of this year, the company counted 346 million active accounts. Chime, one of the most popular challenger banks in the U.S., blanches in comparison with eight million active accounts.
The digital wallet redesign is expected to roll out in the first quarter of next year.
Last November, PayPal purchased online shopping rewards platform Honey for $4 billion. Since then, PayPal has left Honey relatively untouched.
This week, however, PayPal has made it clear it plans to integrate Honey into its existing apps to create a more holistic shopping experience. Users can use Honey’s Wish List tool to create a shopping list, sign up for price tracking notifications, and receive deals and rewards that are built into the PayPal checkout experience.
Merchants will receive shopper data based on their interaction with Honey and its tools. The data, which can help merchants drive sales, will be anonymized.
Starting in the first half of next year, PayPal users in the U.S. will be able to transact using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum at PayPal’s 28 million merchant clients. The company also plans to roll out the capabilities within its Venmo app and to international markets in that same time frame.
In August, PayPal announced its own BNPL competitive service. Dubbed Pay in 4, the short-term payments installment product allows U.S. customers to pay for their purchase over the course of a six week period. The company has also launched a similar offering in the U.K. and France.
Starting next year, PayPal plans to integrate Pay in 4 into its apps.
PayPal-owned Venmo is expanding in a variety of areas. As mentioned above, the P2P payments app is adding support for cryptocurrencies next year.
Additionally, the company is building its business profiles, which it originally launched in July of this year; adding more financial tools; providing better shopping capabilities; and overhauling its checkout experience.