PayPal: 2021 was the year of reinvention

Last year highlighted the digital divide, Doug Bland, PayPal senior vice president, Global Credit and Financial Services, told PYMNTS, noting that businesses large and small have no choice but to adapt to deliver the omnichannel experiences customers demand. Read his thoughts on this in the PYMNTS eBook, “In One Word: 50 Thought Leaders Summarize 2021”.

If 2020 was a year of adaptation, 2021 was a year of reinvention.

Governments have reinvented the way they provided assistance and relief during the pandemic and the length of time that programs were to be offered. In fact, these programs started in 2021 helping people manage their finances, both personal and professional. Government programs have been expanded to meet the challenges of an ongoing pandemic.

The long-tail economic challenges of the pandemic materialized as labor shortages and supply chain issues impacted businesses just in time for the holiday shopping season. Sadly, this happened in a season many believed to be more successful than in previous years, putting even more strain on the system.

Big companies are offering higher wages and new benefits to job applicants, while chartering planes and freighters to make sure they have products on the shelves while people shop. These pivots lead to a reinvention of employee expectations as well as inventory and supply chain management in a variety of industries.

While large companies have the resources to meet these challenges, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not necessarily have the same luxury. They may be forced to reinvent themselves by improving their online presence, offering omnichannel experiences, offering new payment methods and finding ways to attract new customers. This might require exploring new sales channels, such as online marketplaces, or investing in new marketing – but regardless, small business owners need access to capital in a marketplace. which has tightened over the past 24 months.

The SME lending industry recognizes the need to provide easier access to capital. It is essential that lenders have access to additional data to consider during the application process from application programming interfaces (APIs) or open banking. This could enable more robust applications, which could make SMEs receiving capital even more successful. In turn, successful SMEs create a stronger global economic recovery.

This year we presented the first version of the new Pay Pal app to make it a one-stop destination for our customers to take charge of their daily financial lives. New features like access to high yield savings, built-in shopping tools for customers to find deals and earn cash back rewards, early access direct deposit and bill payment offer customers a simplified, secure and personalized experience.

We have also deployed Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) in new countries. This type of solution serves all of our customers. Merchants are paid up front and see an increase in average order volume, while consumers can spread their payments over six weeks. We also looked at how we help SMEs that are struggling to access capital – and we had to rethink how to help as many SMEs as possible.

Everyone has had to reinvent themselves in the past 12 months, learning from the past and planning for an unknown future. By reinventing the way we help people and businesses recover from 2020 and adapting to help them in the future, an even stronger recovery can be achieved.



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