PayPal intros B2B commerce platform for marketplaces, e-commerce providers

The PayPal Commerce Platform bundles together PayPal's AI and machine learning-powered fraud and risk protection tools, its compliance services, and its bevy of online payments acceptance tools.

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PayPal on Monday unveiled PayPal Commerce, a new B2B platform that bundles together its payments technologies, tools, and financing services for marketplaces, e-commerce platform providers and crowdfunding platforms. The core services include PayPal's AI and machine learning-powered fraud and risk protection tools, its compliance services, and its bevy of online payments acceptance tools. PayPal said the platform currently powers the checkout functionality on Facebook and Instagram.

In a blog post, PayPal COO Bill Ready said the platform stems from the company's years-long effort to make the PayPal platform work with other tech platforms, payment networks, banks and merchants. The aim with the B2B-focused Commerce platform, Ready said, is to give smaller merchants access to PayPal's online shopping infrastructure in a way that was previously unavailable. 

"We are at a moment in time where we can finally put the same tech and capabilities in the hands of all businesses regardless of size," Ready said. "We are bringing our vision of open commerce and partnership to life with the PayPal Commerce Platform - to power commerce in a way that allows more businesses and more people to participate in the benefits of the digital economy."

One of PayPal's big selling points for the platform is its own customer base of more than 277 million active users and 22 million merchants around the globe, as well as its existing infrastructure in over 200 markets. The pitch is that merchants can extend their reach globally by tapping into the convenience and ubiquity of PayPal's payments infrastructure across the web. The platform also opens up PayPal's mobile POS, business financing and consumer financing services.

More broadly, PayPal has sought out partnerships with online marketplaces and other fintech providers as a way to grow its business. PayPal said recently that its top 20 marketplaces and partners outside of eBay approached $90 billion in volume over the last year, representing growth of nearly 40%. Here's a snippet of commentary from PayPal's first quarter conference call back in April, in which Ready essentially outlines the business case for PayPal Commerce:

If you're a marketplace, the fuel that feeds the marketplace often times attracting sellers on the other side of the marketplace, and those 22 million sellers that we have that can sign up via a One Touch activation. That's quite significant for those marketplaces because it's not just that you're taking friction out of the sign-up in terms of having to go provide information. Those marketplaces are looking for vetted sellers with proven selling history wanting to understand what verticals those sellers engage in. And all those things that we can do to really bring sellers into this explosion of new marketplaces out there really makes us a partner of choice for them not only on the consumer buying side, but in terms of fueling those marketplaces with vetted, proven sellers is just a tremendous benefit, so we see a really rich pipeline of marketplaces there, both for the infrastructure that we provide with our PayPal for Partners platform as well as what we're able to do to go bring customers and push those marketplaces both on the consumer side as well as on the merchant side.

PayPal said the Commerce platform will be available first in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain before gradually expanding to other markets where PayPal operates.

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