PayPal CFO John Rainey on using mobile to serve underserved consumers


PayPal is doubling down on the idea of helping the “unbanked” — people who don’t use typical financial services — by chasing one key group, CFO John Rainey told CNBC on Wednesday.

“There’s something like two billion people across the world that don’t have things that you and I take for granted – a checking account, a banking account, a home mortgage, traditional financial services,” Rainey told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview.

“The unique aspect about those two billion people is that 70 percent of them,” or some 1.4 billion, “have a mobile device,” Rainey said.

PayPal, an online payments giant that owns the millennial-loved Venmo, has been building out its “digital wallet” to include more traditional banking features, the Wall Street Journal reported in April.

In 2017, the company rolled out domestic payment capabilities there, allowing Indian consumers to use PayPal for transactions with key merchants.

“If you’re going to be a global payments player, you’ve got to have a footprint in India,” Rainey said on Wednesday, noting that in India’s population of some 1.2 billion people, there are roughly 400 million mobile phones.

In March, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told CNBC that countries like India are “leapfrog[ging]” over legacy financial technologies like credit cards and embracing digital payment methods instead.

Rainey told Cramer on Wednesday that, in some ways, PayPal is attempting to fill the void created by consumers that opt out of traditional financial solutions.

“We have a vision of democratizing financial services for those that are underserved today,” the CFO said. “With a mobile device, we can put all of the power of a bank branch in the palm of their hand and allow them to join the world of e-commerce and shop online.”

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