PayPal Stories Archive

Five Key Takeaways from our Fourth Quarter and Full Year Earnings

Earlier today, we released the financial and operating results for our Q4 and 2018 financial year. This was a strong quarter and caps another solid year for PayPal. We set new benchmarks for net new active accounts, revenue, and engagement. We strengthened our position in the market through a combination of innovation, acquisition, and strategic partnership. We expanded our leadership position in mobile and greatly bolstered our platform capabilities.


Rather than try and summarize our lengthy list of achievements and accomplishments, I’d like to focus on five key takeaways.


1. We set a record for net new actives added in a quarter and for the full year

We continue to add net new actives at a record clip as our transition to an open payments platform is resonating with consumers and merchants across the globe. In Q4 alone, we added a record 13.8 million net new active accounts, including approximately 2.9 million from our acquisitions, and nearly 11 million joining organically, the best quarterly organic net new active number in PayPal’s history. We added 39 million net new actives for the year, greatly exceeding our expectations of 30 million. We now have 267 million active accounts on our platform, with approximately 246 million consumers shopping at more than 21 million merchant accounts. We are targeting to end 2019 with over 300 million net new actives on our platform.


Despite the record surge of net new actives, customer engagement grew by 9% to almost 37 transactions per active account. This helped drive $164 billion in total payment volume, up 25% on an FX neutral basis, and was our first quarter to ever exceed $150 billion of TPV. The fact that we are adding new customers at a record pace while also increasing overall engagement is proof that the work we’ve done to remove friction and create new value points is making a difference.


2. For the first time in PayPal history, we generated more than $4 billion in revenue in a quarter, and more than $15 billion in a year  

In 2018, we delivered $15.45 billion in revenue, up 18% on a spot basis and FX neutral basis, or 21% normalizing for the sale of our U.S. consumer credit receivables. That represents our highest annual spot revenue growth rate since separation. In the fourth quarter, we generated $4.23 billion of revenue, growing 14%, or 21% normalized. Our strong revenue growth and disciplined opex spend, combined to drive a 28% year-over-year increase in non-GAAP earnings-per-share of 2.42 cents. In Q4, we delivered 69 cents of non-GAAP EPS, up 26%. 


3. We strengthened our leadership position in mobile

Mobile continues to drive our growth, with $67 billion of mobile TPV in Q4, representing 41% of our total TPV. One Touch, with its market leading conversion rates, continues to grow, with over 123 million consumer accounts and 11 million merchants opted in. This quarter, we drove a record $19 billion in payment volume through Venmo, an increase of 80% year-over-year and the second consecutive quarter that Venmo TPV surpassed the TPV we processed from eBay. For the full year, Venmo's volume increased 79% with $62 billion in payment volume processed.


And we continue to make great strides in our efforts to further monetize Venmo. Pay with Venmo continues to attract new partners including Shopify, Hulu, BigCommerce and Jay Z’s Tidal music service. The Venmo card continues to gain significant traction and Instant Transfer is seeing steady increases in adoption. I’m very pleased to say, that these initiatives have produced a revenue run rate going into 2019 that exceeds $200 million.  


4. Our new strategic partnership with Paymentus caps an incredible year of partnerships

Today, we are announcing a strategic partnership with Paymentus, an electronic billing service company for large scale merchants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. PayPal will enable all payment processing for Paymentus transactions including debit card, credit card and ACH through our Braintree platform as well as PayPal, Venmo, and PayPal Credit payment options for existing and new merchants. We will also partner to build a consumer bill payment experience within the PayPal app.


This new relationship caps an incredible year on the partnership front. We have now secured partnerships with over 20 top-tier global financial institutions, including 8 of the top 10 banks in the U.S. In 2018, we saw nearly 40 bank-led marketing campaigns that encouraged their customers to pay with PayPal.


5. We continue to democratize giving and connect consumers with charities around the world

The continued generosity of our customers is inspiring, and we are proud about the role that we play in creating safe, secure, and convenient touch-points for customers to contribute to their favorite charities online. A few months ago, we shattered our previous Giving Tuesday record with nearly $98 million donated to charitable causes in just one day. For the full year, more than $9.5 billion was donated to nonprofit organizations across the world through the PayPal platform. This is a key tenet of our mission, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to help drive positive impact for so many non-profits and charitable causes.


2018 was a strong year for PayPal. We set new benchmarks in key areas like revenue, net new actives, and engagement, and are truly starting to see the network effects of our scale. We are continuing to lead the mobile revolution and are connecting consumers and merchants together in exciting new ways and new contexts.


Our prospects for 2019 are encouraging. The world is moving toward our strengths and we are making great progress helping our merchants battle for relevancy in the era of mobile commerce. We look forward to building on our strengths to continue to add value for all of our customers and shareholders. 


Dan Schulman

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