PayPal to Join Forces with Apple Pay?

October 1, 2014         By: Daniel Easley

PayPal wants to be a “presence however consumers want to pay,” according to John Donahoe, CEO of PayPal’s (current) parent company eBay.

He continued to say the the “future of payments is one where people have multiple ways to pay.” The comments came during an investor conference call today, and, while never stated outright, seem to reverse speculation that PayPal wouldn’t support Apple’s new payment system, Apple Pay.

Previously PayPal had criticized Apple’s new system, suggesting that Apple Pay would be as secure as Apple’s iCloud. “We the people want out money safer than our selfies,” claimed one of PayPal’s ads. The ad was a not very subtle jab at the recent high profile hack that leaked some explicit photos celebrities had saved on iCloud.

The call today was part of eBay’s recently announced plan that it would separate PayPal into a sole entity. The move came in response to repeated pushing from activist investor Carl Icahn. It’s supposed to make both companies adaptable enough to keep up with industry changes.

The payments industry is in the midst of extreme change. More and more people are using their mobile devices for payments and purchases. And as credit card systems become outdated and security becomes more important, companies will need to constantly adapt.

PayPal has apps on all the major mobile app stores, and the openness to new systems means the company will need to innovate as fast as ever. Apple Pay could be the first widely adopted mobile payments system, and if PayPal wants to continue to be a leader in the industry, it may need to be on board.