Two years after acquiring Braintree, PayPal has gone from peer-to-peer digital wallet to full-service payments business.
Today Braintree announced that it is on track to process $50 billion in total authorized transaction volume in 2015. Braintree provides backend payment processing for companies like Munchery, Uber, and Hotel Tonight.
For context, when it was acquired by PayPal in 2013, Braintree processed $12 billion. Its newly released figure is also significantly more than what Braintree’s competitors are processing. Last year, TechCrunch noted that Square was on pace to process $30 billion in transaction volume. Meanwhile, Stripe doesn’t disclose its transaction volume, but a spokesperson has been quoted as saying it’s in the “billions.”
Some of this success can be attributed to the PayPal ecosystem. Braintree has enabled 250 of the top 500 Internet retailers with PayPal OneTouch, PayPal’s one-tap mobile payment method. For instance, in the J Crew and Nordstrom mobile apps, shoppers can check out with a credit card or PayPal. Stripe has a similar offering, enabling Apple Pay, Android Pay, and an American Express buy-button for hot startups like Kickstarter, Instacart, and Lyft. Braintree can also outfit mobile shopping carts with Apple Pay and Android Pay buttons. Both are also providing backend processing services for Pinterest’s buyable pins program.
Even so, with PayPal One Touch, PayPal stands to make money on both the merchant transaction and the consumer wallet transaction. This is why PayPal head of product and former Braintree CEO Bill Ready said he made an early bet on consumer technology with his purchase of social peer-to-peer app Venmo.
“Just being a cool API for developers is not enough to change the way that people buy on a mobile device,” said Ready. To that point, in 2013, Braintree launched Venmo Touch — the first one-touch application for consumers to make purchases in mobile apps using their Venmo account. That technology is also the foundation for PayPal One Touch, which actually put to use the 169 million PayPal accounts that had been lying idle after ecommerce didn’t take off the way it was hoped to.
The Braintree acquisition has certainly played a crucial role in raising PayPal from what could have been certain death. But PayPal hasn’t stopped there. Its acquisition of mobile payment startup Paydiant, cybersecurity firm Cyactive, and global remittance platform Xoom stand to keep the company relevant in the years to come.