PayPal Rolls Out New Features Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

The financial services platform unveils a new rewards program and passkeys as an easy and secure log in method for PayPal accounts.

It’s been a busy week for PayPal  (PYPL) – Get PayPal Holdings Inc. Report.

The financial services platform recently announced PayPal Rewards, a unified rewards program that lets users shop, earn, track, save, and redeem rewards and offers in their PayPal app.

Reward System

PayPal Rewards, which began rolling out on Oct. 17, will build upon the nearly $200 million PayPal consumers have already saved this year so far through PayPal Honey-enabled cash back and discounts, the company said.

Honey is a suite of online shopping tools that helps members save money and earn redeemable rewards. PayPal acquired Honey in 2019 for about $4 billion.

With the change, Honey Gold points will become PayPal Rewards points. Customers can either set up or link to an existing PayPal account.

“As consumers continue to navigate high prices heading into the holiday shopping season, deals, discounts, and cash back remain top priorities, with 25% of consumers stating loyalty programs are the most important factor when deciding where to shop,” the company said in a statement. 

Customers can combine rewards earned across multiple PayPal products and shopping experiences including PayPal Honey browser extensions and the PayPal app, and in the future, various card products.

In addition, customers will be able to earn PayPal Rewards points in a variety of ways, including personalized engagement with the PayPal app, and using the PayPal Honey browser extension to find discounts.


Passkey Addition

PayPal on Oct. 24 said it would add passkeys as an easy and secure log-in method for PayPal accounts. 

Passkeys are a new industry standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium that replace passwords with cryptographic key pairs.

PayPal is a founding member the FIDO Alliance, an open industry association launched in 2013 that works to provide open and free authentication standards to help reduce the world’s reliance on passwords.

The new PayPal log in option will first be available to iPhone, iPad, or Mac users on, the company said, and will expand to additional platforms as those platforms add support for passkeys.

PayPal has been struggling over the last several months, as it stock price falls and its market value decreases.

Earlier this month, social media lit up on speculation that PayPal was considering fining users over misinformation. 

The documents that were reportedly leaked were marked, “Last Updated on November 3, 2022” — suggesting the change may have gone into effect in less than a month.

The company has said that it was an error and that “this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy.” 

PayPal is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Nov. 3. 

‘Long-Term Algorithm’

SMBC Nikko analyst Andrew Bauch said last week that he remained “skeptical” around PayPal’s new long-term growth algorithm that is likely to be disclosed at the Q1 of 2023 investor day, but says the stock’s setup in the quarters ahead “remains favorable relative to a lot of other stories in our space.” 

Weighing the positives and negatives, Bauch said he believes the risk/reward is “relatively balanced.” PayPal “checks several boxes in what investors prefer in the current market environment,” he said. 

The analyst says PayPal is one of the only names in the FinTech universe “optimally positioned to accelerate topline growth in 2023.”

Earlier this month, Atlantic Equities analyst Kunaal Malde cut his price target on PayPal to $110 from $120, while keeping an overweight rating on the shares.

Malde said that given the increasing likelihood that the U.S. and global economies will enter recession, he’s now assuming a modest economic downturn in 2023 forecasts. 

Payments stocks are starting to discount this scenario, but the analyst said that in the near-term “we prefer high quality stocks with attractive valuations and limited downside to consensus earnings forecasts,” such as Visa  (V) – Get Visa Inc. Report.

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