PayPal hopes generative AI will make it relevant again

  • PayPal is launching a few new products powered by generative AI technologies.
  • Upcoming tools include a one-click checkout feature, a way for merchants to find customers based on shopping data, and a way to offer personalised adverts to shoppers.
  • PayPal’s new CEO hopes the additions will win over investors and turn around the company’s steadily falling stock.

Joining the company just in September, the fresh-faced chief executive of digital payment firm PayPal is set to shake things up in the hopes of turning investors around on the company’s steadily cratering stock.

The big idea to turn the tables – you guessed it, generative AI.

CEO Alex Chriss announced last week that PayPal will start launching products powered by similar AI technology that powers the likes of ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing, and Google Gemini. According to Reuters, Chriss hopes the new products will spark enthusiasm from investors based on the AI frenzy gripping the tech industry.

A widely shared and quoted report from McKinsey & Company posits that generative AI could add up to $4.4 trillion to the global economy every year. This and similar reports have investors and tech fans believing the golden egg-laying goose hype of natural language models, and companies around the world – from education to ecommerce to consumer tech – are rushing to introduce AI into their catalogues.

“The data that we have and our ability to actually see what people have bought and know what merchants are trying to target, that’s where I think AI is the huge opportunity for us,” Chriss said in an interview with Reuters.

Hopes are that the new AI products will turn around PayPal’s stock, down more than 22 percent from January last year. Investor sentiment soured on the back of underwhelming margins, with investors looking for rampant growth and PayPal only managing respectable earnings.

Chriss says that 2024 will be a transition year for the company. The new products in its pipeline include a platform that uses AI to let merchants find new customers based on prior shopping data. The company will use its vast troves of user data and global transaction details – half a trillion dollars worth,

A separate AI tool called “smart receipts” is said to advertise personalised items to shoppers in their email receipts, received when shopping through PayPal. Finally, a “one-click” feature called Fastlane which has increased checkout speeds by 40 percent.

Apart from increased security, PayPal’s other recent additions to its platform include support for the transfer of crypto tokens.

“PayPal customers the flexibility to move their crypto assets (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, or Litecoin) into, outside of, and within our PayPal platform reflects the continuing evolution of our best-in-class platform and enables customers to interact with the broader crypto ecosystem,” said the company in June 2022.

The company launched its own stablecoin pegged on the US dollar, the PYUSD, in 2023. In November, Yellow Card struck a deal with PayPal to offer its stablecoin on the Yellow Card platform.

[Image – Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash]


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