Analysts Grill PayPal Strategist on Mobile, Offline Opportunities
By Ina Steiner
Wall Street analysts had a chance to grill PayPal's Senior VP of Strategy and Business Development at Citi's Global Technology Conference in New York on Wednesday. Mark Lavelle answered questions ranging from Bill Me Later to cross-border trade.
Citi analyst Mark May hosted the session and in a report published following the interview, he said one takeaway was PayPal's focus on mobile. Lavelle called PayPal's product pipeline "one of the most innovative that I have ever seen." He specifically mentioned PayPal developing new engaging experiences in the wallet with the things that customers can do, such as add credit, points and loyalty, third-party cards, "and the ability to innovate how the checkout experience works whether you are in a physical point of sale on a device or even the ecommerce checkout."
He also mentioned new areas of growth coming from PayPal Here (a card reader for smartphones), and said, "We put out a mobile application that works on iPad devices that essentially a merchant can run their entire point of sale."
Citi's May said PayPal is already a payment partner to Apple and said PayPal believes any announcement related to new iPhone payment capabilities will involve improving the user experience and likely not changing the payment medium.
"The playbook is to continue to grow globally," May said of PayPal - "this includes selling merchant services which will drive increased customers in a network effect."
Lavelle talked about the challenge that small merchants have keeping up with the type of innovation changes happening in mobile, and referenced competition they're seeing from Amazon.
"We care very much that people have inclusion and the capability for them to take advantage of technology that helps their lives improve, that's been eBay's founding charter," Lavelle said. "And so we think about the world and ways of using our massive scale and leverage to help small, medium and now increasingly large merchants, get the type of digital scale that they otherwise couldn't invest in themselves."
You can access a transcript of May's interview with PayPal's Mark Lavelle on SeekingAlpha.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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