PayPal: Digital, Mobile Payments to be $100 Trillion Market

February 22, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Sure, the idea that mobile payments, rather digital payments to include everything that’s not so mobile but still related, could be a $100 trillion market may seem a bit outlandish, but PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman certainly has a case for it. A combination of factors will come together, Schulman suggests, and turn mobile payments into a powerhouse market.

Schulman suggests that a combination of a growing financial technology sector and steadily-gaining quantities of overall use cases may ultimately spur that impressive total. While mobile payments makes up about one to two percent of the market today, Schulman noted, the gains are potentially staggering.

Even less-than-stellar holiday sales and a global economy that’s starting to look a bit overheated didn’t seem to slow Schulman’s projections. With payments on Venmo up fully 80 percent as compared to the same time last year, it’s not hard to see why Schulman’s optimistic. It’s not just Venmo’s peer-to-peer nature, either, but rather its connection to a social network, which allows Venmo to work two different markets.

As Schulman et al look for new markets, they’re looking to not only keep cultivating old partners like eBay—which has been down in recent months—but also comparative newcomers like Facebook, Microsoft, and even Alibaba.

Schulman noted “… I think it’s going to be less and less about how does one company hyper-serve customers. I think the new way of the world going forward is how do companies take the best of their platforms [and] put them together to better serve companies.”

While these points are all certainly valid, a $100 trillion market is still hard to countenance. By way of comparison, the United States’ GDP for 2018 was a projected $20.4 trillion. The 10 largest GDP figures on the planet add up to just a projected $58.72 trillion, which means somehow mobile payments will have to generate the same amount of business as the 10 richest nations on Earth, nearly twice over, to meet Schulman’s figures.

Schulman has a lot of reason to be optimistic. He understands the value of market diversity and not pinning all his company’s hopes on one client. While his top number might be a bit outlandish, gains are a lot more likely than some might think.