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Credit Suisse: PayPal the King of Online Shopping Payments

April 18, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

When shopping online, we have a variety of tools we can use to pay for our purchases, and some of us use a mix of these depending on the circumstances at the time. Whether it’s credit card, debit card, PayPal balance or mobile payment system, we can pay for our purchases in a wide variety of ways.

A new report from Credit Suisse, meanwhile, suggests that when it comes time to pay the bill in online shopping, we overwhelmingly turn to PayPal.

Not just PayPal, of course—says Paul Condra, a Credit Suisse analyst—but also its offshoots like Braintree and Venmo. With the three of these in place, Condra continues, PayPal is likely to remain “…a sticky and relevant platform…”, and any concern that PayPal might be losing ground to credit cards “…may be overblown.”

This is based on a study that spanned some of the biggest economies on Earth: China, Europe, Russia and the United States. While PayPal lagged in China—likely owing to the other options in the country like Alipay—leaving out China saw PayPal as the premier source for online purchases. Seventy-eight percent turned to PayPal for online purchases, while 48 percent used credit cards. A similar number, 45 percent, turned to debit cards.

Interestingly, Amazon’s Amazon Pay option is also gaining ground here; the total subscriber base therein is 33 million. It’s also been noted that PayPal has something of a mobile gap, with just 23 percent of surveyed users turning to the PayPal mobile app.

All of this is fairly well in line with what should be expected. A large number of online shoppers do so from PCs, where PayPal can really shine. Further, PayPal loses ground on mobile, which means in places that are mobile-heavy—like China—will turn to mobile options. While PayPal does have a mobile option—which is extended into things like Venmo—it’s a bit less frequently used, so China doesn’t turn to it so heavily.

Still, it’s gratifying to see that PayPal is doing so well here overall. With its success still holding despite huge smartphone penetration, and its operations expanding outward into other venues to diversify its holdings a bit, it’s clear PayPal will be able to hold its ground as both an electronic and mobile payment system.