PayPal Holdings Inc. gave users a small window into their Venmo user numbers on Wednesday, as the company is increasing its efforts to make money from the peer-to-peer platform.
The pioneer of digital payments announced in the first quarter results that they had more than 40 million active Venmo accounts, meaning accounts participating in at least one transaction over the past year. This marked the first time that the company, which traditionally provides user numbers for its broader package of services, broke out Venmo users in particular.
PYPL, + 0.30%
was up 0.5% after-sales.
The company maintained that it was providing this information partly because of "questions" in the investment community about PayPal's ability to make money from Venmo and also because of third-party reports that discuss app downloads for Venmo and other peer-to-peer services. Investors should not expect an update on this metric quarter, but according to management.
The latest figures do not provide an apple-to-apple comparison with Square Inc.s
Cash app, which revealed 15 million monthly active accounts only in December, but analysts still liked to hear what they heard. At PayPal's earnings call, Deutsche Bank's Bryan Keane called the $ 40 million "impressive" and presumably "ahead of most people's estimates."
Net new active accounts on both PayPal and Venmo accelerated in the last quarter of a year over the year, the company said.
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PayPal now sees Venmo tracking at a $ 300 million annual interest rate, up from $ 200 million at the end of the fourth quarter. The company did not specifically break in contributions from its various Venmo revenue sources – instant deposits, online shopping or the physical debit card from Venmo – although CEO Dan Schulman told MarketWatch that the first quarter was "relatively consistent" with the fourth quarter of it More than half of revenue generation came from outside the deposit function.
Schulman said that Venmo users were "clamoring" for new ways to use the service without sending money to friends. "We are starting to see real traction from the Venmo user base as a result," he told MarketWatch.
Venmo customers have the ability to use their e-commerce purchase accounts, via dedicated Venmo buttons on some websites, as well as "smart" buttons to discover if a shopper is a Venmo user. These smart buttons run conversion in other ways, according to Schulman, as they can be made buttons for local wallets, such as iDEAL in the Netherlands, to show international users more familiar payment options.
PayPal has recently invested in MercadoLibre Inc.