The mobile payments wave keeps on gathering force. PayPal, who has been as active in the field as any of its competitors, has just announced a huge increase in its m-payments this holiday season. In the month to December 15, eBay’s subsidiary has seen a 300 percent spike, compared to the same period a year ago. The holiday shopping season officially began on Monday, November 15, 2010 (according to PayPal’s estimate).
The uptick follows close on the heels of another record-breaking m-payments increase, registered by PayPal less than a month ago. The company announced a 310 percent rise in mobile shopping on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. The magnitude of the increase is better understood when compared to the online processor’s overall payment volume’s change, which grew by 27 percent (including m-payments) this Black Friday from last year’s.
PayPal’s payment volume this Black Friday was 19 percent higher than an average Friday’s volume in 2010 and 21 percent higher than last year’s Black Friday.
PayPal’s sales figures are watched closely, as they are fairly representative of the larger industry trend. The processor handles 16.5 percent of all U.S. e-commerce transactions and 15 percent of the global online payment volume.
PayPal’s parent company, eBay, is also setting records in its mobile shopping volumes this month. Its mobile gross merchandise volume (GMV) on the second Sunday of December — “Mobile Sunday” — grew by 127 percent in the U.S. over the same Sunday last year, generating nearly $5 million in GMV. Globally, eBay’s mobile GMV grew by 165 percent, generating $13 million in GMV.
Compared to this year’s “Cyber Monday,” eBay’s mobile GMV on “Mobile Sunday” was up by 38 percent. Here is the list of the top categories by GMV sales for eBay this holiday shopping season:
- Clothing & Accessories.
- Cars & Trucks.
- Jewelry, Gems, Watches.
- Sporting Goods.
- Auto – Parts.
The top five U.S. states by sales volume for eBay were California, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio. At the peak of Mobile Sunday in the U.S. — 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST — eBay registered more than 9,500 transactions per hour.
eBay has been making inroads into mobile shopping territory on its own, in addition to its subsidiary’s efforts. Its app marketplace has seen a sharp increase in traffic. eBay’s iPhone app, launched in July 2008, has been downloaded more than 13 million times. The app allows users to browse and buy without leaving the application. Its suite of apps have been downloaded 30 million times and have generated more than $600 million in mobile gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2009, a figure that is expected to grow to $1.5 billion in 2010.
eBay and PayPal are both investing heavily in mobile technologies and for a good reason. Mobile payments are set to grow at an exponential rate in the coming years and neither company wants to be left behind. Whoever manages to establish an early lead will stand a better than even chance of becoming the eventual champion of the still fledgling industry. PayPal knows that full well; they’ve already done it in the e-commerce a decade ago.