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PayPal unveils rebranding strategy

New logo to herald a mobile-first, omnichannel approach

PayPal unveils rebranding strategy

In an effort to rebrand its identity, PayPal announced a new strategy to reflect what it calls a modern, mobile-first, and omnichannel approach.

The strategy starts with a new, simpler logo meant to convey PayPal’s “simplicity, convenience, and security,” the company says in its announcement.

“Our new brand identity goes far beyond an updated logo,” says David Marcus, PayPal’s president. “We have aligned this with our first global brand campaign. We’re setting a new expectation with our global consumers, developers, and merchants: PayPal is redefining the future of money by putting people first. After all, money doesn't make the world go round, people do.”

Some analysts see the rebranding as a way to better reflect the company’s evolution as an online payments provider.

“PayPal has not revamped its brand since 2007 when it was almost exclusively an online payment provider, unlike the PayPal of today that has multiple m-payment applications including in-store payments,” says Eden Sollar, principal analyst at Ovum. “PayPal has also moved quickly to embrace what it considers to be promising new technologies and platforms for m-payments, with recent initiatives spanning wearable devices, biometrics, and Bluetooth Low Energy/ beacons.”

The brand identity, developed by design firm fuseproject, uses simplified forms and colors, while building on the recognition of the current logo and signature double “P” shorthand for PayPal. The look and feel are designed for a world moving from desktop and mobile today, to a future where almost any device can deliver payment, the company says.

New devices, from smart watches to connected eyeglasses, will one day let users transfer money from their wrists with one click or with literally the blink of an eye. This redesign creates a cohesive look and feel across the brand, and because of its simplicity and flexibility it can be used anywhere, from smartphones to 72” TVs.

Ovum’s Sollar also says the change anticipates increasing competition from nonbank payments providers. “But the challenge for PayPal’s mobile-first ambition is that a multitude of other players have exactly the same goal for m-commerce, including Facebook. We also think Apple will make an explicit move into m-payments this year and the number of accounts that Apple has on file are substantially more than PayPal and just about everyone else. Apple now has 800 million iTunes accounts and most of them are linked to credit cards. This compares to the 148 million active accounts for PayPal that parent eBay revealed in its Q1 2014 results... The figure is a 16% increase on the previous quarter, while PayPal’s total payment volume (TPV) grew 27%, a slight improvement on the slowing TPV recorded over the last quarters. eBay did not provide a break-out of PayPal’s revenues from m-payments, although PayPal has stated elsewhere that it processed $27 billion in mobile payments in 2013.”

PayPal’s new identity will be applied globally, online, and to all of PayPal’s core applications, including checkout buttons, apps, PayPal Here devices, marketing materials, and sales collateral. It also will appear in PayPal’s new global brand campaign: “Powering The People Economy.” The multichannel campaign will first be experienced in Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.

John Ginovsky

John Ginovsky is a contributing editor of Banking Exchange and editor of the publication’s Tech Exchange e-newsletter. For more than two decades he’s written about the commercial banking industry, specializing in its technological side and how it relates to the actual business of banking. In addition to his weekly blogs—"Making Sense of It All"—he contributes fresh, original stories to each Tech Exchange issue based on personal interviews or exclusive contributed pieces. He previously was senior editor for Community Banker magazine (which merged into ABA Banking Journal) and for ABA Banking Journal and was managing editor and staff reporter for ABA’s Bankers News. Email him at [email protected]

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