PayPal Earnings: Venmo Might Start Making Money Soon

Jason Moser: I wanted to go ahead and open
up the conversation with PayPal, a company that all of our listeners are familiar with.
I think it’s a stock that you and I both own. At least, I own it. Do you
own shares of PayPal, Matt? Matt Frankel: I did. I actually sold it. I had eBay,
so I acquired PayPal shares through eBay. Moser: Very good! Frankel: I got rid of it a couple of years ago to buy
Square, which turned out to be a pretty good move. Moser: Not a bad move at all!
Frankel: Yeah, it’s tough to argue with that one. Moser: I thankfully own both. I think that when you look
at the quarter PayPal turned in, you have to feel really good about what they’re doing. This is really all about the dollars that
are flowing through that network. Total payment volume for the
company was up 24% to $143 billion. Engagement, which is essentially the number
of transactions on the trailing 12-month basis, was up. Mobile payment volume was $57 billion. My takeaway from the quarter was that they’re
doing a lot of really good things. There’s a reason why the
stock spiked on this release. I think, generally speaking,
you have to be pretty optimistic. What’s your take, Matt? Frankel: This quarter in my mind was all about Venmo.
You mentioned payment volume was up 24%. Venmo’s payment volume was up 78%.
That’s really what’s driving PayPal higher. Not only that, but we mentioned in an episode a week or
two ago that they’re trying to start to monetize Venmo. They announced that one in four
members can be monetized right now. That’s up from 17% last quarter,
and much less than that last year. Not only is Venmo growing, but they finally
think they can turn it into a significant revenue stream, which is a lot sooner than
anyone really thought that was going to happen. That’s my takeaway on this quarter. Moser: I was looking for any and all language
regarding Venmo that I could find. I think you’re right, that’s the forward-looking
picture with this company. I think it’s worth noting,
we talk a lot about Venmo. You and I spoke last week about the fee change
on the instant access side of the business. We have to keep an eye on how consumers
are going to feel about that ultimately. For me, it was worth noting that while the
results for Venmo were good, $17 billion of that $143 billion was through the
Venmo network, which was significant. They said that 24% of users are now
participating in a monetizable action. That’s all great news, but I think what could
get lost in the conversation is the fact that PayPal on its own, sans Venmo,
is still doing a really good job. To me as an investor, that’s an
even better outlook, really. You’re looking at not only the power of the
PayPal platform, but also the Venmo platform, other platforms like Xoom, for example. These guys
have a lot of different ways to make it work. From an investor’s perspective, that’s a
really attractive part of this business. Frankel: Yeah, definitely. PayPal is growing
really well on its own, which is impressive, considering how big PayPal is. PayPal has become
just part of our language, like, “PayPal me.” Everybody uses PayPal, it seems, but they’re
somehow still growing very, very rapidly. Moser: I think I’m going to hang onto my shares, Matt.
I’m going to keep my Square shares, too. Like we say every week, if we could shut up for long
enough, I’m sure we’d both add to our positions. Maybe after earnings season
dies down, we’ll have a chance.

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