PayPal plans to expand its cryptocurrency services rapidly in 2021 and support central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) when they are eventually launched
PayPal announced its entry into the cryptocurrency space last month, with the payment processor initially offering its services to its U.S clients. However, the company intends to rapidly expand internationally in the first half of 2021.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and other senior executives made this point clear during the firm’s Q3 2020 earnings call. Schulman told investors that the world is rapidly moving from physical to digital, emphasising the speed of changes in the payments and financial services sector. The rapid change in the payment and financial services industry is why PayPal has offered its cryptocurrency services to Venmo and international customers in the first half of 2021. Schulman stated that “Over the course of next year, you’ll see us move into a couple of different areas”.
Currently, only 10% of customers in the U.S can access the cryptocurrency services, with the remaining clients in the country set to enjoy the service in the next two to three weeks. Following its cryptocurrency announcement, PayPal saw enough interest to warrant the company to increase the weekly crypto purchase limits from $10,000 to $15,000.
Schulman predicted massive opportunities for PayPal in economies that support digital identity, fully digital payments and financial services.
PayPal to support CBDCs
Central bank digital currencies have been the rave in the financial space in the last few months. Currently, no digital currency has been officially released for commercial purposes in any part of the world. However, several countries such as China, Uruguay and others are making massive progress in this sector with the development of their CBDCs. Other countries such as Canada, Australia, the European Union (EU) and a host of others continue to research the possibilities of launching CBDCs.
PayPal CEO believes that central bank digital currencies are going to enter the digital economy soon. At the moment, it is a matter of when and not if. When CBDCs are released for wide adoption, PayPal will be ready to support them.
The payment processor wants to develop the most expansive and compelling digital wallet globally, which will also support CBDCs. The CEO added that PayPal’s scale and prominence could help shape the utility of the central bank digital currencies.
Schulman believes that the legacy financial system isn’t working for ordinary people anymore. As such, change is needed in the financial landscape. He believes that PayPal and its digital infrastructure can help make the management and movement of money faster, less expensive and more efficient.