PayPal processed more transactions on May 1 than on Black Friday

“It was the best of the times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in one of the more famous openings to a novel in history. It was a fairly good description of life in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution and, as it turns out, a reasonably good synopsis for the recent rush of earnings reports in the era of COVID-19.  For many firms, the last two months have represented the absolute worst of times as social distancing and forced closures have ground their businesses to a halt. Disney, for example, reported earlier this week that it has lost roughly $1 billion each day since the start of the shutdown.

But many firms and all firms are two different things, and while from a humanitarian perspective PayPal clearly wishes COVID-19 never happened, by the numbers it is undeniable that it has boosted its business. Almost a week ago, May 1, PayPal experienced the largest single day of transactions in the company’s history — bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2019.

April 2020 was also a record-breaking month for PayPal in terms of enrollment and use. PayPal added 7.4 million net new active accounts. PayPal also hit a record in Q1, CEO Dan Schulman noted, adding 10 million net new accounts — though that pick-up was rapidly outshined in April, when its daily net new customer rate averaged roughly 250,000 per day and counting.  Answering an analyst’s question, Schulman noted the previous day PayPal had added 295,000 net new active users, and that on the whole they anticipate adding 15 million to 20 million net new active accounts in Q2.

The first quarter of 2020 also saw payment transactions pickup by 20 percent to 1.2 billion and its total payments volume (TPV) increase by roughly $68 billion, a roughly 22 percent year-on-year increase.


continue reading »