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PayPal Wants a Bigger Piece of the $3.7 Trillion Gig Economy

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Mar. 14 2019, Published 3:25 p.m. ET

PayPal now supports instant bank transfers

PayPal (PYPL) recently introduced an instant bank transfer option for its customers, with the option initially rolling out to customers in the United States. The option allows PayPal customers to move funds from a PayPal account to their personal bank account in seconds.

PayPal said that this option was made possible by its expanded partnership with JPMorgan Chase (JPM). PayPal will charge a 1.0% fee for the express bank transfer service, meaning that the company just added another revenue stream to its existing operations.

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Demand for quick access to money

The bigger picture is that the instant bank transfer service could see PayPal capture a larger share of the freelancing, or “gig,” economy. PayPal has noted that quick access to money has become more crucial for people in less traditional jobs—gig workers.

According to a report from PYMNTS, PayPal is the most popular payment service for gig workers. The report stated that 51% of full-time gig workers preferred to be paid through PayPal. With the addition of the instant bank transfer option, gig workers could find PayPal to be a more appealing channel through which to receive their cash before they decide what to do with it. Morgan Stanley estimates that the global gig economy was worth $3.7 trillion in 2017. The gig economy is expected to continue expanding as more people embrace flexible working schedules.

PayPal made a $584 million profit

PayPal made a profit of $584 million in the fourth quarter. Square (SQ) saw a loss of $28 million in the quarter. First Data Corporation (FDC) and Fiserv (FISV) posted profits of $162 million and $286 million, respectively, in the same period.

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