Building the Future of Mobile Commerce

Passing $4 billion in mobile payments

More than two years ago, when the term “mobile payment” meant either tapping your phone to pay with Google Wallet or swiping your card in a Square dongle plugged into a phone, we started to make big bets that the future of mobile payments would actually happen first through e-commerce on the mobile device. At the time, most people said that we were crazy since less than 1% of e-commerce was happening on mobile. The prevailing view was that mobile devices were only for micro-transactions like app downloads and gaming and people wouldn’t ever make meaningful e-commerce transactions on a tiny touch-screen device.  

We forged ahead and built anyway with the belief that mobile devices would become primary computing devices in the near future and that consumers would demand purchasing experiences that were optimized for mobile. We built client libraries for payments in native mobile apps years before others in the payment industry. We built encryption technologies specific to mobile and optimized network usage for high-speed processing on limited mobile bandwidth. And most importantly, we began to deliver mobile payments functionality directly to consumers by acquiring Venmo and building Venmo Touch, a first of its kind in the industry allowing for one touch transactions across mobile apps without a user ID or password.

We’re now handling more than $4 billion dollars in mobile payments per year, helping to drive us past $12 billion in total annual volume. That’s a fourfold increase in mobile volume in the last 12 months. We’re privileged to claim many of the best mobile apps in the world as our clients and partners, including Uber, Airbnb, HotelTonight, Fab, HAILO, LevelUp, TaskRabbit, Simple and thousands of others. Our Venmo mobile app has become the top rated payment and finance app in the App Store including a feature this week by Apple as a “Best of iOS7”.  In addition to that, our one touch mobile payment solution, Venmo Touch, is now running on millions of mobile devices with many of our best partners slated to join the platform, including LivingSocial that added Venmo Touch to their mobile app this week.

Despite all that, it’s early days in the creation of a new generation of commerce experiences that will delight consumers on their mobile devices. To all those who share this passion and build great mobile commerce apps on our platform, thank you. We believe the future of commerce is mobile and we intend to deliver the tools you’ll need to continue building great mobile commerce experiences for your customers.


Bill Ready Bill is the SVP, Global Head of Merchant and Next-Gen Commerce at PayPal. Previously, Ready was the CEO of Braintree, leading the company through the 2013 acquisition by PayPal for $800 million. More posts by this author

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