Gartner survey shows PayPal leading the online P2P payment market

Gartner survey shows PayPal leading the online P2P payment market – Market Intelligence

A survey by Gartner Inc. shows that nearly 80 percent of online consumers are aware of what is commonly referred to as P2P e-payment services, and their usefulness for online purchases and funds transfers. In January 2002, Gartner surveyed more than 1,000 US online consumers over the Internet to examine their payment practices. The results showed that PayPal is the most trusted and used of all Internet person-to-person (P2P) payment systems.

PayPal is used by 27 percent of respondents, 2.5 times more than its nearest competitor, Billpoint, which is used by 11 percent. The percentage of respondents planning to use the service in the future is the same for both providers: 8 percent. Thirty-three percent of online consumers surveyed consider PayPal a highly trusted provider of payment services. The next most trusted service, Billpoint, is considered highly trusted by 21 percent of respondents.

“Overwhelming, market lead and brand awareness position PayPal as the company most likely to establish the long awaited and critical e-cash standard for Internet purchases, especially for low-value items,” said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director, Gartner Financial Services. “Consumer support, and demand for an alternative to credit cards, may eventually drive larger e-tailers to accept PayPal, despite the fact that PayPal costs merchants about the same as credit cards do.”

“Until now, PayPal has been very successful in acquiring ‘risky’ and small merchants who do not qualify for credit card merchant accounts. But its grassroots support may push PayPal account acquisition upstream to more established merchants,” she said. The survey results showed C2IT (owned by Citibank) is used by 1 percent of respondents, 4 percent plan to use it in the future, and it was considered highly trustworthy by 17 percent of respondents. Yahoo! PayDirect is used by 3 percent of respondents with 5 percent planning future use, and it was considered highly trustworthy by 12 percent.

The online P2P e-payment market has matured since its grassroots beginnings with PayPal on eBay in 1999 and now enjoys broad acceptance in the US. Gartner analysts said this new maturity may, once these payment systems are truly ubiquitous, enable PayPal to offer a viable alternative to credit card payments, which now account for more than 93 percent of online payments.

PayPal will likely remain the dominant service provider in this market. Its user base, already growing by more than 20,000 per day, will continue to grow at eBay and across small online businesses. When PayPal reaches 25 million users, up from 13 million today, large e-tailers may be forced by a loyal and satisfied consumer base to begin accepting PayPal as an alternative to credit card payments. However, before it attains this ubiquity, Gartner analysts said PayPal will no doubt have to contend with state regulators who have hinted that PayPal looks too much like a bank to escape regulation (PayPal divested itself of X.com, an Internet Bank, about one year ago).

Already, four states including California and New York, are considering regulating PayPal, perhaps in response to some merchant complaints about the company. Gartner analysts said in the end, PayPal is likely to end up being a bank again, to ensure both consumers and merchants remain protected, albeit a bank that helps fill the Internet’s long-standing e-cash void.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Information Gatekeepers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group