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Which payment provider? PayPal or Afterpay

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

There are nine million Australians using PayPal. Fund manager Insync says it’s going to remain difficult for Afterpay to beat them in the local market.

Even harder to catch PayPal globally when it has 361 million active users producing 87.5% of all online buyers.

Investing isn’t easy but it often begins with asking simple questions.

If I am a merchant, I might ask …

Do I want to pay less for a ‘Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) service for my customers? (That’s a no-brainer)
Do I want fraud protection, and the ability to raise invoices on the same system?
Perhaps I might need a small bridging loan and find that a bank overdraft is too costly and onerous?

PayPal can advance the cash a store needs, who then selects the set the automatic % deduction from each sale until the loan is paid back. Cheaper, faster, easier!

So the store pays less for far more, and so do their customers. There is a real win-win!

As a consumer I might consider …

Do I also value fraud protection?
Do I value being able to link many types of payments into one easy place?
What about range of merchants available and how many I can buy from?
Do I buy just locally or a lot from overseas?

PayPal enables easy payment in just a few clicks from my credit, savings, debit or BNPL accounts in the one app. There are a few thousand merchants or from over 20 million globally for almost anything imaginable.

PayPal is the world’s largest payment system with an 11% share, and Apple ranks 3rd at around 4%. The Chinese behemoth Alipay sits at just 0.97%. Afterpay? …they’re not even close to Alipay.

Scale in the payments business counts. Greater reach, lower cost and more choice to offer customers and for far less. It delivers resources to extract insights about spending patterns and assessing credit risk at levels smaller players struggle to match, thus delivering less shareholder risk and more opportunities. The growth outlook is greater when you think global and have the talent, the resources and the reach to do so.

The challenge facing a local entrant to the global game can be summed up as this: Imagine you are an existing PayPal account user. A small local merchant offers you BNPL for your next purchase. As one of the existing 9 million Australian PayPal account holders (361 million active users globally, producing 87.5% of all online buyers) you check your PayPal account and notice a new button. One click and you have BNPL without being assessed and signing-up for yet another provider. Knowing the above facts, which would you choose? Why go through even the hassle to sign up with another provider?

The local entrant relies on Late Fees for a crucial part of its revenue. It also charges more. PayPal doesn’t charge Late Fees, remember it does more and on far less. To compete with this, a local competitor needs something exceptional and hard for the goliath to counter; and that can spread exceptionally fast.

John Lobb, Portfolio Manager for Insync noted “We are nowhere near the end of the exponential expansion in the payments sector, it’s forecast to grow above 17% p.a. over the next 4 years alone. Covid simply gave it a big push.”

He added “PayPal is not the only global company Insync invests in that is benefiting from the payment’s revolution, and we are tuned in to 16 Global Megatrends like this one”

“My team identifies which firms will clearly dominate and produce superior returns for investors in each Megatrend in the long term. We have been doing this consistently now for over 11 years with exceptional results” said John.

Sources: Insync research, Spendmenot, Paypal, Afterpay, Verdict, 451 Research, US Census Bureau

Equity Trustees Limited (“EQT”) (ABN 46 004 031 298), AFSL 240975, is the Responsible Entity for the Insync Global Quality Fund and the Insync Global Capital Aware Fund. EQT is a subsidiary of EQT Holdings Limited (ABN 22 607 797 615), a publicly listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: EQT). This information has been prepared by Insync Funds Management Pty Ltd (ABN 29 125 092 677, AFSL 322891) (“Insync”), to provide you with general information only. In preparing this information, we did not take into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. It is not intended to take the place of professional advice and you should not take action on specific issues in reliance on this information. Neither Insync, EQT nor any of its related parties, their employees or directors, provide and warranty of accuracy or reliability in relation to such information or accepts any liability to any person who relies on it. Past performance should not be taken as an indicator of future performance. You should obtain a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about whether to invest in this product.
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