PayPal has finalized the purchase of the Honey deal finder startup, for a consideration of $4 billion. This latest move pushes the payment processor well ahead of crypto-friendly payment rival, Square.
PayPal Aims to Revolutionize Online Retail
PayPal, one of the largest payment processors, has aimed at taking a larger share of the online retail market. With the rise of fintech, PayPal faces more competitive headwinds. The acquisition aims to expand the retail experience and boost the influence of PayPal and Venmo in a more integrated retail and payment system.
It was those pressures that made PayPal perform the biggest acquisition in the company’s history. Reportedly, Honey has 17 million active monthly users, attracted for coupon services, best Amazon deals, and other discounts from as many as 30,000 online retailers. PayPal’s idea was to “transform the shopping experience” for its 275 million customers.
The Honey app has grown popularity as it makes shopping even smoother, applying coupon codes automatically. The startup, established in 2012, achieved $100 million in revenues in 2018, and was headed to reach $200 million in 2019.
Boosts Competition with Square
PayPal has faced competition from the Square payment app, which has also risen in prominence in relation to Twitter. Square’s Cash app, however, has chosen to be competitive through crypto-friendly tools.
PayPal, on the other hand, remains skeptical of digital assets. In the past, the leading company has refused to allow payments to crypto services, whether OTC or exchanges. Later, it made a foray by enlisting as a member of the Libra Association. But just months after the pledge, PayPal gave up on the idea, citing heightened reporting pressures.
PayPal has remained skeptical of Bitcoin, and has banned as much crypto-related transfers as possible. The firm has also abstained from offering a digital asset. Hence, the company now aims to remain competitive by revolutionizing retail.
The Square payment service marked $4.3 billion in revenues for the 12 months ended September 2019. PayPal, on the other hand, is still ahead, with $4.3 billion in just the third quarter of 2019. But Square has also expanded well over the years, reporting 49% growth in the past year. PayPal has also gained a boost from serving other payment channels for services like Uber and Spotify.
Crypto assets still do not compete directly with fintech, as startups in that space remain more compliant and face smaller hurdles to serving a large-scale market.
What do you think of PayPal’s aim at leadership with retail-related services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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