Pay How You Want

Money, Payments, Freedom

Money is not powerful when it is accumulated; money is powerful when it moves. Billions of transactions occur worldwide every day, and payments are the single most tangible, frequent utility of money. Payments, however, are more than just an exchange of value; they are a story of progressive freedom. Every transaction we make - from buying a coffee to transferring funds overseas - is an expression of our financial autonomy. On the other hand, an inability to pay how we want limits our capacity to build, share, and harness value on our own terms.

PayPal emerged at a critical junction in the history of payments. From the earliest days of online commerce, we built ourselves as a beacon of trust to offer users the confidence to transact in a powerful but difficult new ecosystem. Now, over a decade into the emergence of blockchain technology, PayPal has yet again stepped up to take on a new challenge during a critical point in payment history. Just as we brought payments online, we are now bringing payments on-chain.

Our commitment throughout our tenure remains unchanged: to facilitate innovation in payments, allowing everyone to pay how they want.

The Digital Payment Revolution

The most recent tectonic shift in payments emerged with the internet. As vast troves of information migrated online, so too did the mechanisms for tracking and managing money — from account balances and transaction histories to broader commercial activities. This burgeoning ecosystem of online commerce set new expectations for how transactions should be conducted. People now sought the same immediacy and borderless reach in their payments as they experienced in their everyday online communication.

This digital shift highlighted an emerging gap. While the internet provided the infrastructure for global commerce, a trustworthy and efficient online payment system was conspicuously absent. People sought a platform that was not only secure, but also swift and intuitive. Businesses needed a dependable platform that would resonate among a growing online customer base.

PayPal bridged this gap between the new digital financial rails and the pressing need for consumer trust and accessibility. We built an ecosystem that delivered on the desire to let people pay how they want by giving them flexible and safe global payments.

Today, with over 400MM active accounts, PayPal’s success is a testament to more than just identifying a market gap. It’s about our singular and unwavering commitment to making payments easier. As the internet evolved and other fintech tools emerged over the decades, our focus remained unaltered. From facilitating eBay transactions in our early days to acquiring Venmo in 2013, our trajectory has been defined by the answer to a single question: how do people want to pay?

We’ve had decades to answer this question. At its highest level, the answer has remained fairly straightforward: people want fast, cheap, global payments. The solution over the last three decades has remained far more elusive.

PayPal USD (PYUSD) is a stablecoin backed by secure and highly liquid assets. Buy, sell, hold, and transfer - get started!

The New Gap: PayPal, Crypto, and New Financial Rails

While the digital payment landscape has strived to offer global, instantaneous, and seamless transactions, the reality often falls short. Payment innovations to date have been built on the same foundational financial rails that came with the rise of the internet. “Instant” settlements and “24/7” service is often, in reality, a veneer of convenience made possible by a service accepting (or shifting) risk.

Settlement times remain long for online payments (in the US, they average 2-3 days). Markets, banks, and services maintain working business hours, further extending settlement times. Employers struggle to pay an increasingly-dispersed workforce. An ever-globalizing population struggles to send money cheaply and quickly across borders. Businesses feel this friction most frequently, and consumers are still faced with long settlement times for actions that simply feel like they should be faster.

In short, people today are not necessarily able to pay how they want.

So, why crypto? The answer is a practical one. Crypto gets us closer to what people desire: fast, cheap, global payments. And, as we’ve said before — we are in the payments business.

Blockchain is the new financial rail — the new payment rail. Blockchain technology collapses how payments look and how they actually operate. Settlement times are near instant to both a customer and a business — at any time, anywhere in the world.

This cannot be understated; blockchain technology is the only technology that offers a fundamentally new way of doing payments. Though it may look like a fad to some, to PayPal, blockchain looks like rationale. If there is a payment instrument that offers round-the-clock, near immediate, and cost-effective transactions, it’s a practical choice to explore that solution. It’s not about jumping on a trend; it’s about recognizing and adopting an alternative, possibly better financial technology for payments.

Again, PayPal finds itself with an opportunity to bridge a gap between a new payments rail and its widespread adoption and trust. We have 400MM accounts that can be better served with an additional option of a blockchain-based payments solution. As we did in the earliest days of e- commerce, PayPal is again striving forward with a singular goal in mind: letting you pay how you want.

PayPal, Payments, and PYUSD

In 2020, we allowed PayPal and Venmo users to buy, hold, and sell crypto within their accounts. Last year, users could start transferring crypto assets they bought in their accounts to external wallets, including decentralized wallets.

We envision PayPal and Venmo continuing as pivotal hubs for commerce, serving as the primary conduits for businesses and individuals to transact for goods and services. By allowing for the transfer of crypto assets to and from PayPal and Venmo accounts, we’re better connecting the DeFi and CeFi worlds through a platform that excels in facilitating payments.

Our broad outlook on blockchain and crypto is neutral — that is, we have no ideological horse in this race. We know our customers continue to want easier, faster, and cheaper payments. We know that blockchain enables those types of payments in a way that the internet’s financial rails today do not. We believe our customers deserve to opt in to new solutions that address their underlying needs.

We do, however, have a stance on stablecoins. We believe they are a necessary tool to fully realize crypto’s capacity to serve as an accessible and flexible payments instrument. PYUSD, issued by Paxos, is our stance in the stablecoin space. It is our commitment to our customers. We are doing what we have done since 1998: giving our customers what they want.

What our customers want is easier payments. Businesses want to pay their vendors without worrying about settlement times. Individuals want to send money to their families without paying high fees and waiting days. Our customers don’t want to lose value while they’re waiting for today’s financial rails to catch up to their transactions.

Today, blockchain technology is the only innovation that provides a fundamentally new payment rail that helps deliver that customer desire. We have always aimed to be a vanguard in one aspect: always giving our customers what they want and deserve — trust, confidence, and ease. PYUSD is just the next evolution towards that goal.

Pay How You Want

At PayPal, we’ve always believed that the essence of money lies in its movement, and that the fast, cheap, and global movement of money is what our customers seek. The history of PayPal is the story of that unwavering commitment: empowering individuals and businesses to transact on their terms. We believe crypto has created a new paradigm to help achieve that goal for payments everywhere.

To say it another way, what we believe is simple: pay with crypto means pay how you want.

PayPal USD (PYUSD) is a stablecoin backed by secure and highly liquid assets. Buy, sell, hold, and transfer - get started!

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