PayPal posted healthy Q1 results on Wednesday, adding 4.5 million active customer accounts for a total of 184 million and processing 1.4 billion transactions in the quarter, up 26% year-over-year. That makes for 28 payment transactions per active account on a trailing 12-month basis, up 12%, and $81 billion in total payment volume, up 31% over the previous year and surpassing analyst expectations of $79 billion.
Some 14 million merchants are now accepting payments via PayPal. In addition, more than 21 million account holders are using PayPal's “One Touch" mobile checkout feature, unveiled in 2014, which the company called in its press release one of its “most rapidly adopted products.”
It was a strong quarter financially for PayPal as well: Its take rate from each transaction was 3.14%, surpassing one estimate of 2.84% noted by Bloomberg. First-quarter profit excluding items was 37 cents per share on revenue of $2.54 billion (compared with $2.14 billion a year ago); analysts on average had expected 35 cents on revenue of $2.50 billion, according to Bloomberg.
PayPal spun off from parent company eBay last year in response to the challenges of a new payments environment ushered in by Apple Pay and other mobile developments. Ever since, the pressure has been on for PayPal, which even as an innovator in the online payments space seemed in danger of being overtaken by the shift to mobile commerce.
Mobile payments haven’t been quick to catch on in a major way, though, as many transaction processes have been cumbersome. That has given PayPal some time and space to catch up, and so far its One Touch feature has been successful.
PayPal's Venmo peer-to-peer payment app, which the company has expanded since acquiring it along with Braintree in 2013, has been a particular hit with younger consumers, who can often be heard to say, “I’ll Venmo you" when dining together or sharing a cab. Venmo payment volume rose 154% in Q1 to $3.2 billion, from $1.26 billion a year ago.
"Our first quarter results continue to demonstrate the power of our global payments platform to attract and engage consumers, increasing our global scale and in turn attracting new merchants and partners to PayPal," PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman said in a statement. "Our focus on payments and ability to innovate for merchants and consumers continues to differentiate PayPal and drive our growth in a dynamic and competitive environment.”