PayPal CEO Says Checkout Is ‘Vestigial Organ of Yesterday’

Dan Schulman says mobile will erase the boundaries between in-store and ecommerce.
March 12, 2018

NEW YORK – Yahoo Finance writes that PayPal CEO Dan Schulman says mobile is going to “fundamentally redefine” the retail industry.

“Already, it’s starting to do that. It is blurring the distinction between online and offline. People used to think about e-commerce and in-store. Mobile erases those boundaries,” Schulman said at an event last week with the New York Economic Club.

The news source writes that the illustrated his point by presenting a scenario of a customer using a smartphone to make a food order.

“If you order a Subway sandwich on your mobile phone, customize it, you pay for it there, and then you go into the store, skip the line, pick it up, maybe tap your phone to pick up the rewards points or whatever it might be, was that an online transaction or an offline transaction? It was both. It was both,” Schulman said, adding, “You’re already seeing one store after another close. We’re way over-capacitized in terms of physical retail now. One-third of the malls here in the U.S. are dead or dying already. And I could read you a list of almost a who’s who that are closing stores after another.”

The checkout, he suggested, could become a thing of the past at retail. Yahoo Finance writes that Schulman has noticed how many stores in China, for example, don’t have shopping carts or checkout lines.

“Checkout is like a vestigial organ of yesterday. It’s going to disappear,” he said, adding, “Those retail stores in China now. It’s almost like a Hollywood set. There’s what’s there and behind it is the warehousing. It’s like bags moving around. You order it and it’s shipped to your house within 30 minutes.”

Although he expects mobile to change retail, the technology is revolutionizing consumer behavior. “I think the best payment apps will transcend just payment itself. It will tie into all of your other activities,” Schulman said.

Consumers in China constantly use payment apps like WeChat Pay and AliPay, notes the news source. This week in Hong Kong, attendees at the NACS Convenience Summit Asia will learn more about frictionless payments the proliferation of mobile technology.

Schulman noted that Chinese consumers open apps like WeChat and Alipay 30 to 40 times a day. “They do everything on that app. The average PayPal customer is 30 to 40 times a year…Thinking about how mobile and mobile payments kind of move into everyday life is very important.”