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Consumers Prefer PayPal to Banks for Online Checkout and P2P Payments

(New York, NY) PayPal’s clout with consumers is dominating its competition in the alternative payments space, according to recent consumer research by Auriemma Group. The study of 800 US adult credit cardholders took an in-depth look at alternative payment providers, comparing PayPal’s online checkout and P2P offerings to other notable platforms. Consumers responded with a clear preference for PayPal, citing greater familiarity, usage, popularity, and more secure technology than other providers.

“PayPal is doing a lot of things right,” said Jaclyn Holmes, the Auriemma Senior Manager who directed the study. “They are the clear favorite in the online checkout space and have earned a positive reputation with consumers. The PayPal brand is valuable, so much so that just knowing Venmo was a PayPal product increases the likelihood of cardholders using the service.”

When compared with its peers, PayPal is the most recognized and used online checkout service, with 77% of cardholders familiar with the service and 62% of those familiar currently using the service. And PayPal customers are loyal, with 81% preferring it for online transactions, and 79% using it whenever they can. This type of praise is also common for PayPal Me, PayPal’s P2P offering, which is highly favored among consumers who have tried more than one P2P app (42% prefer PayPal Me compared to 19% who prefer their bank’s P2P payment service). Banks, however, do have some strengths when compared to PayPal—notably in direct deposit, ease of accepting payments, card selection and ease of use.

Despite its overall high marks, PayPal fell short of its competition on overall trust with financial information (80% of consumers trust their primary bank; only 55% said the same about PayPal). And the majority of consumers (56%) are generally unwilling to direct deposit money into their PayPal account. There is a nuance, however: While banks win for overall trust, 69% of consumers say they believe PayPal’s technology is better at protecting their financial information.

“Although cardholders’ relationships are deeper with their primary bank than with PayPal, the fact that consumers believe PayPal’s technology is more secure may be problematic for issuers. Consumers expect financial providers to be as savvy as the players in Silicon Valley,” says Holmes. “Until financial institutions are seen as technological equals with PayPal, the brand has a clear advantage in this arena.”

Survey Methodology

The studies were conducted online within the United States by an independent field service provider on behalf of Auriemma Consulting Group in August 2016, among 800 credit card users each (“cardholders”). The number of interviews completed on a monthly basis is sufficient to allow for statistical significance testing between sub-groups at the 95% confidence level ± 5%, unless otherwise noted.

About Auriemma Group

Auriemma is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space.  We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients’ business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines.


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