PayPal went on a tear last year as the fintech giant notched record profits, revenue and user growth—trends that are carrying over into 2021. On Wednesday, the company announced Q1 revenues of $6.01 billion and earnings per share of $1.12, which handily beat analysts’ predictions of $1.01.
Also remarkable is that PayPal’s results showed total payment volume growing from $277 billion in Q4 to $285 billion in Q1—a highly unusual event given that payment volumes typically drop significantly in the months following the holiday season.
The latest results, which reflect a year over year revenue growth of 31%, are a result of PayPal benefiting from the same tailwinds as last year—namely, a pandemic-driven uptick in e-commerce and digital wallet adoption, and a new embrace by merchants of novel payment platforms.
“Our strong first quarter results demonstrate sustained momentum in our business as the world shifts into the digital economy,” said CEO Dan Schulman in a statement.
PayPal’s stellar performance was also reflected in a record addition of 14.5 new active accounts, and an uptick in new merchant accounts to 31 million worldwide. Overall, the company now has 392 million active accounts. PayPal also updated its guidance for the rest of 2021, predicting it will add a total of 52-55 million new accounts this year.
Meanwhile, the company has made major strides into the cryptocurrency world, offering users the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, and expanding crypto payments to merchants. More recently, PayPal added crypto buying and selling to its popular peer-to-peer Venmo app.
In its earnings release, the company noted “PayPal’s cryptocurrency offerings expanded to enable U.S. customers to transact using cryptocurrency to fund commerce.”
More broadly, PayPal is in the midst of experimenting with a variety of blockchain payment tools and trying to fashion its platform into a “super app” for activities ranging from shopping to banking.