PayPal President: After the eBay split, we'll be a Fortune 500 company

The clock is ticking: later this year, eBay and PayPal, together since 2002, will split into two separate, publicly-traded companies.

In a presentation in San Francisco today, Dan Schulman — currently President and the designated post-split CEO of PayPal — laid out his vision for why an independent PayPal is beginning from a position of strength and how it’s going to continue to dominate the online payments market.

In 2014, Schulman says, PayPal brought in $US8 billion in revenue, which is enough to earn a place as a Fortune 500 company. And if that’s not enough, Schulman says, PayPal revenue for the last quarter was up 17% from the quarter before.

To keep that growth train going, PayPal is making its service work better with outside software developers, a traditional weak point for the company, Schulman explains.

While PayPal was once a massive, immutable pile of code that took months to change, the company has made it a focus to “disaggregate” the platform, breaking it down into many more moving parts — which makes it easier for developers to make changes on the fly.

If an online shopping site wants to use PayPal as the middleman to accept Apple Pay or Google Wallet online payments, more power to them, Schulman says. The plan is that when someone clicks the PayPal button on an online shop, those other services will start to appear as payment options.

Mobile push

The other area of big growth for PayPal is mobile payments. In 2010, mobile accounted for 1% of PayPal payments. In the past three months, it accounted for 30%.

To push that momentum forward, PayPal’s developed PayPal Touch, a button that online businesses can put on their sites that let users order stuff in one touch. They even announced that mobile developers can build PayPal Touch into their apps, meaning that customers don’t even have to leave the app to make the one-touch order.

The thinking is that if PayPal makes it easier for people to order stuff, web stores are going to want to use PayPal, and everybody wins.

Everybody, that is, except for PayPal’s many, many competitors: Payments startup Stripe is reported to be raising a $US5 billion to take PayPal on directly, while Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba is launching its own Alipay mobile payments service. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg, as other companies are also looking to expand into mobile payments.

To increase its already-big lead in online payments, Schulman says the standalone company will have to move fast.

“We have a lot to do to get there, we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Schulman says.

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