Dan Schulman
President and Chief Executive Officer
PayPal Holdings

Founded in 1998 and an eBay subsidiary from October 2002 until its July 2015 IPO, PayPal had a stellar first quarter of 2016: Revenue rose 23 percent from the year-earlier period, to $2.54 billion, while payment transactions jumped 26 percent, to 1.41 billion, and active customer accounts 11 percent, to 184 million. But another metric that excites president and CEO Dan Schulman these days is transactions per account per year — 28 as of the first quarter, three more than in 2015. “What we really aspire to is to go from a PayPal customer using PayPal twice a month to using us twice a week,” says Schulman, 58, who was American Express Co.’s president of enterprise growth before joining San Jose, California–based PayPal in 2014. He believes the key to greater customer engagement is mobility as more mobile-centric merchants come onto the platform. During 2015, 1.4 billion, or 28 percent, of PayPal’s 4.9 billion total payments were initiated on mobile devices. The CEO sees growth potential in reaching the 2 billion people who don’t have bank accounts. Schulman says PayPal “has a unique opportunity to make a massive difference in people’s lives by democratizing payments and helping millions of people around the world move and manage their money more securely, reliably and affordably” as the lines separating traditional banking, mobile banking and commerce continue to blur. This emerging “digital commerce and money” sector could be worth $100 trillion, says Schulman, who formerly served as founding CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, president and CEO of Priceline Group and president of AT&T’s consumer markets division. To help customers navigate the changing payments landscape, PayPal will transition from being a button on a website to “a platform that enables innovative and seamless buying experiences wherever user communities are actively engaged,” Schulman says. The company has been on the acquisition trail — last year it bought mobile commerce start-up Modest for an undisclosed sum and money transfer provider Xoom Corp. for $890 million — and this April it led a $30 million funding round for investment app developer Acorns.

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