PayPal sees revenue surge as it bets on digital wallets and crypto

6 May 2021

Image: © wolterke/

The digital payments giant reported $6bn in revenues as transactions through its services totalled $285bn in the last quarter.

Revenues continued to grow at PayPal amid a surge in e-commerce as the company delves deeper into digital wallets and cryptocurrency.

Reporting figures for the first quarter of 2021, total payment volume was up 50pc to $285bn while the company added 14.5m new active accounts in the quarter. It now has 392m active accounts.

It booked $6bn in revenue, slightly higher than analyst expectations, with profits of $1.1bn.

Digital payments have boomed over the last year or so, driven by pandemic-fuelled e-commerce and contactless payments, giving a boost to what was already a growing trend.

“We now believe the shift in consumers’ digital behaviour is going to remain essentially unchanged in a post-Covid world,” chief executive Dan Schulman said. The company is forecasting revenues of $6.2bn in the next quarter.

PayPal has diversified its product portfolio in the last several months beyond online payment transaction services.

Last year, it opened its arms to embrace cryptocurrency, allowing users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and use it for shopping. Most recently it rolled out crypto functions to its Venmo payments app and it acquired crypto security company Curv.

Speaking on the earnings call yesterday (5 May), Schulman said that there has been a “tremendous amount of really great results going on tactically with our crypto efforts” and that half its crypto users are using PayPal daily.

The company said it is planning to launch a “next-generation digital wallet” in the third quarter that will consolidate different PayPal functions.

These efforts remain only in the US market so far, with the company providing no indication of international roll-outs.

It added that its ‘buy now, pay later’ service has also seen increasing numbers of people returning to use the service after trying it out.

PayPal has a large base in Ireland, but said last month that it may relocate more than 100 roles from its Irish offices to other countries.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin