In 2013, PayPal Far Surpassed Its Own Expectations For Mobile-Based Transactions

eBay’s PayPal processed $US27 billion in mobile transactions in 2013, a 93% increase over the previous year.

That means that a full 15% of PayPal’s $US179.6 billion transaction volume is now mobile.

eBay already has a history of underestimating mobile transaction volume and 2013 was no exception — PayPal had predicted that it would process just $US20 billion in mobile transactions in 2013, a full $US7 billion below the mark.

Much of PayPal’s volume comes from mobile-based purchases completed on eBay, which is tightly integrated with PayPal. With the recent acquisition of Braintree, which closed in December, it’s possible PayPal will gain an additional $US1 billion in mobile volume in the next quarter.

About $US4 billion of Braintree’s $US12 billion transaction volume in 2013 came from mobile devices.

On the other hand, the bulk of Braintree’s transaction volume won’t be included as PayPal’s transaction volume in official numbers because Braintree outsources much of its back-end credit card processing. Whether PayPal has ambitions to act as Braintree’s back-end processor remains unclear, but we included Braintree’s transaction volume in the charts just for kicks.

Mobile transaction volume will continue to grow at a blazing rate, but year-over-year growth is slowing.

  • In 2011 PayPal’s mobile transaction volume grew 567%.
  • In 2012, transaction volume grew 250%.
  • In 2013, transaction volume grew 93%.

The slowdown in mobile growth isn’t worrisome though. It’s due to extremely high growth rates from a basically nonexistent base in the early days of mobile transactions. PayPal has been slow to overhaul its payments platform for mobile, but with the acquisition of Braintree and StackMob the company has shown that it is doubling down on making PayPal a mobile-first company.

Click here to download the chart and data in Excel.

Here is a look at mobile transaction volume by itself:

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