SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from to .
Commission file number 001-36859
PayPal Holdings, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization)
|2211 North First Street||San Jose,||California||95131|
|(Address of Principal Executive Offices)||(Zip Code)|
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common stock, $0.0001 par value per share||PYPL||NASDAQ Global Select Market|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large Accelerated Filer||☒||Accelerated Filer||☐|
|Smaller reporting company||☐|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
As of June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $204.2 billion based on the closing sale price as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
As of January 29, 2021, there were 1,171,175,760 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated herein by reference in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent stated herein. Such proxy statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of the registrant’s fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Trademarks, Trade Names and Service Marks
PayPal owns or has rights to use the trademarks, service marks, and trade names that it uses in conjunction with the operation of its business. Some of the more important trademarks that PayPal owns or has rights to use that appear in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include: PayPal®, PayPal Credit®, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, iZettle, Hyperwallet, and Honey, which may be registered or trademarked in the United States and other jurisdictions. PayPal’s rights to some of these trademarks may be limited to select markets. Each trademark, trade name, or service mark of any other company appearing in this Annual Report on Form 10-K is, to PayPal’s knowledge, owned by such other company.
This Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements that involve expectations, plans or intentions, such as those relating to future business, future results of operations or financial condition, new or planned features or services, mergers or acquisitions, or management strategies. Additionally, our forward-looking statements include expectations related to anticipated impacts of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). These forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” and other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, those discussed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K, as well as in our consolidated financial statements, related notes, and the other information appearing in this report and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). We do not intend, and undertake no obligation except as required by law, to update any of our forward-looking statements after the date of this report to reflect actual results or future events or circumstances. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. You should read the information in this report in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes that appear in this report.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
PayPal Holdings, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in January 2015 and is a leading technology platform and digital payments company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of merchants and consumers worldwide. PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services to improve the financial health of individuals and to increase economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes around the world. Our goal is to enable our merchants and consumers to manage and move their money anywhere in the world, anytime, on any platform, and using any device when sending payments or getting paid. We also facilitate person-to-person (“P2P”) payments through our PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom products and services and simplify and personalize shopping experiences for our consumers through our Honey Platform. Our combined payment solutions, including our core PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, iZettle, and Hyperwallet products and services, comprise our proprietary Payments Platform. Unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, references to “we,” “our,” “us,” “the Company,” or “PayPal” refer to PayPal Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
PayPal’s payment solutions enable our customers to send and receive payments. We operate a global, two-sided network at scale that connects merchants and consumers with 377 million active accounts (consisting of 348 million consumer active accounts and 29 million merchant active accounts) across more than 200 markets. PayPal helps merchants and consumers connect, transact, and complete payments, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. PayPal is more than a connection to third-party payment networks. We provide proprietary payment solutions accepted by merchants that enable the completion of payments on our Payments Platform on behalf of our customers. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted consumer behavior and has accelerated the shift from traditional in-store shopping toward e-commerce and buy online and pick up in store to the extent that merchants are adopting safer contactless payment solutions based on consumer demand for such options.
We offer our customers the flexibility to use their accounts to purchase and receive payments for goods and services, as well as the ability to transfer and withdraw funds. We enable consumers to exchange funds more safely with merchants using a variety of funding sources, which may include a bank account, a PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account balance, a Venmo account balance, our credit products, a credit card, debit card, or other stored value products such as coupons, gift cards, and eligible credit card rewards. Our PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom products also make it safer and simpler for friends and family to transfer funds to each other. We offer merchants an end-to-end payments solution that provides authorization and settlement capabilities, as well as instant access to funds. We help merchants connect with their customers and manage risk. We enable consumers to engage in cross-border shopping and merchants to extend their global reach while reducing the complexity and friction involved in enabling overseas and cross-border trade.
We earn revenues primarily by charging fees for completing payment transactions for our customers and other payment-related services that are typically based on the volume of activity processed on our Payments Platform. We generally do not charge consumers to fund or draw from their accounts; however, we generate revenue from consumers on fees charged for foreign currency conversion and instant transfers from their PayPal or Venmo account to their debit card or bank account, as well as from interest and fees from our credit products. We also earn revenue by providing other value added services, which comprise revenue earned through partnerships, our merchant and consumer credit products, referral fees, subscription fees, gateway services, and other services that we provide to our merchants and consumers.
KEY PERFORMANCE METRICS
We measure the relevance of our products and services to our customers and the performance and success of our business through active accounts, payment transactions, and total payment volume:
An Active Account is an account registered directly with PayPal or a platform access partner that has completed a transaction on our Payments Platform or through our Honey Platform, not including gateway-exclusive transactions, within the past 12 months. A platform access partner is a third party whose customers are provided access to PayPal’s Payments Platform through such third-party’s login credentials.
Number of Payment Transactions are the total number of payments, net of payment reversals, successfully completed on our Payments Platform or enabled by PayPal via a partner payment solution, not including gateway-exclusive transactions.
Total Payment Volume (“TPV”) is the value of payments, net of payment reversals, successfully completed on our Payments Platform or enabled by PayPal via a partner payment solution, not including gateway-exclusive transactions.
Our business is built on a strong foundation designed to drive growth and differentiate us from our competitors. We believe that our competitive strengths include the following:
•Two-sided network—our Payments Platform connecting merchants and consumers enables PayPal to offer unique end-to-end product experiences while gaining valuable insights into customer behavior. Our Payments Platform provides for digital, mobile, and in-store (at the point of sale) transactions while being both technology and platform agnostic.
•Scale—our global scale allows us to drive organic growth. As of December 31, 2020, we had 377 million active accounts, consisting of 348 million consumer active accounts and 29 million merchant active accounts in more than 200 markets around the world. A market is a geographic area or political jurisdiction, such as a country, territory, or protectorate, in which we offer some or all of our products and services. A country, territory, or protectorate is identified by a distinct set of laws and regulations. In 2020, we processed $936 billion of TPV.
•Brands—we have built and strengthened well-recognized and trusted brands, including PayPal, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, Hyperwallet, iZettle, and Honey. Our marketing efforts across multiple demographic groups play an important role in building brand visibility, usage, and overall preference among customers.
•Risk and Compliance Management—our enterprise risk and compliance management program and use of tokenization are designed to help keep customer information secure, and to help ensure we process legitimate transactions around the world, while identifying and minimizing illegal, high-risk, or fraudulent transactions.
•Regulatory—we believe that our regulatory licenses, which enable us to operate in markets around the world, are a distinct advantage and help support business growth.
MERCHANT AND CONSUMER PAYMENT SOLUTIONS
Merchant Value Proposition
We partner with our merchants to help grow and expand their businesses by providing global reach and powering all aspects of digital checkout. We offer alternative payment methods, including access to credit solutions, provide fraud prevention and risk management solutions, reduce losses through proprietary protection programs, and offer tools and insights for leveraging data analytics to attract new customers and improve sales conversion. We employ a technology and platform agnostic approach intended to enable merchants of all sizes to quickly and easily provide digital checkout online, on mobile devices, and in-store across all platforms and devices and to securely and simply receive payments from their customers.
PayPal’s Payments Platform enables merchants to accept all types of online and offline payments, including those made with the PayPal and Venmo wallets, credit cards and debit cards, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, as well as other popular local payment methods. Our diversified product suite is tailored to meet the needs of merchants regardless of their size or business complexity. We have expanded our merchant value proposition to enable payment acceptance at the point of sale through our PayPal and Venmo digital wallets, our iZettle point of sale solutions, and our quick response (“QR”) code-based solutions. We aim to offer a seamless, omni-channel solution that helps merchants manage and grow their business. Our Honey Platform and PayPal consumer credit offerings, including installment payment products, enable merchants to drive increased conversion through higher consumer engagement.
We offer access to credit products for certain small and medium-sized merchants through our PayPal Working Capital and PayPal Business Loan products, which we collectively refer to as our merchant lending offerings. Our PayPal Working Capital product allows businesses to borrow a certain percentage of their annual payment volume processed by PayPal for a fixed fee. Our PayPal Business Loan product provides businesses with short-term financing for a fixed fee based on an evaluation of both the applying business as well as the business owner. We believe that our merchant lending offerings allow us to deepen our engagement with our existing small and medium-sized merchants and expand services to new merchants by providing access to capital that may not be available effectively or efficiently from traditional banks or other lending providers.
Our acquisition of a controlling equity interest in Guofubao Information Technology Co. (GoPay), Ltd (“GoPay”), a holder of payment business licenses in China, enables us to partner with Chinese financial institutions and technology platforms to provide a more comprehensive set of payment solutions to merchants and consumers, both in China and globally.
We generate revenues from merchants primarily by charging fees for completing their payment transactions and other payment-related services.
Consumer Value Proposition
We focus on providing affordable consumer products intended to democratize the management and movement of money. We provide consumers with a digital wallet that enables them to send payments to merchants more safely using a variety of funding sources, which may include a bank account, a PayPal Cash or Cash Plus account balance, a Venmo account balance, our consumer credit products, a credit card, debit card, or other stored value products such as coupons, gift cards, and eligible credit card rewards.
We also offer consumers P2P payment solutions through our PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom products and services. We enable both domestic and international P2P transfers across our Payments Platform. Our Venmo app in the U.S. is a leading mobile application used to move money between our customers and to make purchases at select merchants. Xoom is an international money transfer service that enables our customers to send money and prepaid mobile phone reloads to, and pay bills for, people around the world in a secure, fast, and cost-effective way. P2P is a significant customer acquisition channel that facilitates organic growth by enabling potential PayPal users to establish active accounts with us at the time they make or receive a P2P payment. We also simplify and personalize shopping experiences for our consumers through our Honey Platform by offering tools for product discovery, price-tracking, and offers, which enhances consumer engagement and conversion and sales for our merchants.
We offer our PayPal Credit products to consumers in certain markets as a potential funding source at checkout. Once a consumer is approved for credit, PayPal Credit is made available as a funding source for that account holder. Our U.S. PayPal- and Venmo-branded consumer credit program is offered primarily through Synchrony Bank. In addition, we have expanded our consumer credit offerings to include installment payment products in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany. We believe that our consumer credit products allow us to increase engagement with consumers and merchants on our two-sided network.
We generate revenue from consumers on fees charged for foreign currency conversion, optional instant transfers from their PayPal or Venmo account to their debit card or bank account, interest and fees from our PayPal Credit products, and other miscellaneous fees.
PROTECTING MERCHANTS AND CONSUMERS
Protecting merchants and consumers on our Payments Platform from financial and fraud loss is imperative to successfully competing and sustainably growing our business. Fraudulent activities, such as account takeover, identity theft (including stolen financial information), and counterparty malicious activities, represent a significant risk to merchants and consumers, as well as their payment partners. We provide merchants and consumers with protection programs for certain purchase transactions completed on our Payments Platform. We believe that these programs, which help protect both merchants and consumers from financial loss resulting from fraud and counterparty non-performance, are generally broader than similar protections provided by other participants in the payments industry. As a result, merchants may incur losses for chargebacks and other claims on certain transactions when using other payments providers that the merchants would not incur if they used our payments services. We also provide consumer protection against losses on qualifying purchases and accept claims for review up to 180 days post-transaction. We believe that this protection is generally consistent with, or better than, that offered by other payments providers. These programs are designed to promote confidence on both the part of consumers, who will only be required to pay if they receive their purchased item in the condition significantly as described, and merchants, who will receive payment for the product they deliver to the customer.
Our ability to protect both merchants and consumers is based largely on our proprietary, end-to-end Payments Platform and our ability to utilize the data from both sides of transactions on our two-sided network, specifically from buyers and sellers and from senders and receivers of payments. We believe mobile devices will continue to play a significant and increasing role in commerce, including by creating the opportunities to make the payments ecosystem safer. For example, PayPal uses data from mobile devices to help reduce financial and fraud risk to merchants and consumers. Our ongoing investment in systems and processes designed to enhance the safety and security of our products reflects our goal of having PayPal recognized as one of the world’s most trusted payments brands.
The global payments industry is highly competitive, continuously changing, highly innovative, and increasingly subject to regulatory scrutiny and oversight. We compete against a wide range of businesses. Some of our current and potential competitors may be larger than we are, have larger customer bases, greater brand recognition, longer operating histories, a dominant or more secure position, broader geographic scope, volume, scale, resources, and market share than we do, or offer products and services that we do not offer. Other competitors are smaller or younger companies that may be more agile in responding quickly to regulatory and technological changes. Many of the areas in which we compete evolve rapidly with innovative and disruptive technologies, emerging competitors, business alliances, shifting consumer habits and user needs, price sensitivity on the part of merchants and consumers, and frequent introductions of new products and services.
We differentiate ourselves to merchants through our ability to innovate and develop products and services that offer new payment experiences for our merchants, demonstrate that they may achieve incremental sales by using and offering our services to consumers, support transactions on our Payments Platform across varied technologies and payment methods, through the simplicity and transparency of our fee structure, and our seller protection programs. In addition, we differentiate ourselves to consumers through the ability to use our products and services across multiple commerce channels, including e-commerce, mobile, and payments at the point of sale, and without sharing their financial information with the merchant or any other party they are paying; our customer service, dispute resolution, and buyer protection programs; and our ability to simplify and personalize shopping experiences. We believe that we compare favorably to our competitors with respect to these factors and we invest resources towards improving our products and services, offering choice in payment options, providing excellent customer service, and building brands that merchants and consumers trust.
Our business faces competition from a wide range of businesses and from all forms of physical and electronic payments. We face competition from banks and financial institutions, which provide traditional payment methods (particularly credit cards and debit cards (collectively, “payment cards”), electronic bank transfers, and credit), payment networks that facilitate payments for payment cards or proprietary retail networks, payment card processors, and “card on file” services. We also face competition from providers offering a variety of payment products and services including tokenized and contactless payment cards, digital wallets and mobile payments solutions, credit, installment or other buy now pay later methods, real-time payment systems, P2P payments and money remittance services, card readers and other devices or technologies for payment at point of sale, virtual currencies and distributed ledger technologies, and tools that simplify and personalize shopping experiences for consumers and merchants. Our products and services face competition from all forms of payments, which include paper-based payments (primarily cash and checks), credit cards, debit cards, electronic bank transfers, credit, installment methods, digital wallets and mobile payment solutions, contactless payments (including contactless cards, tokenized cards, near field communication (“NFC”) based solutions, and QR code-based solutions), and virtual currencies, such as cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.
In addition to the discussion in this section, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” under the caption “We face substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the global payments industry” for further discussion of the potential impact of competition on our business.
Our ability to grow revenue is affected by, among other things, consumer spending patterns, merchant and consumer adoption of digital payment methods, the expansion of multiple commerce channels, the growth of mobile devices and merchant and consumer applications on those devices, the growth of consumers globally with internet and mobile access, the pace of transition from cash and checks to digital forms of payment, our share of the digital payments market, and our ability to innovate and introduce new products and services that merchants and consumers value. Our strategy to drive growth in our business includes the following:
•Growing our core business: through expanding our global capabilities, customer base and scale, increasing our customers’ use of our products and services by better addressing their everyday needs related to accessing, managing, and moving money, and expanding the adoption of our solutions by merchants and consumers;
•Expanding our value proposition for merchants and consumers: by being technology and platform agnostic, partnering with our merchants to grow and expand their business online and in-store, and providing consumers with simple, secure, and flexible ways to manage and move money across different markets, merchants, and platforms;
•Forming strategic partnerships: by building new strategic partnerships to provide better experiences for our customers, offering greater choice and flexibility, acquiring new customers, and reinforcing our role in the payments ecosystem; and
•Seeking new areas of growth: organically and through acquisitions and strategic investments in our existing and new international markets around the world and focusing on innovation both in the digital and physical world.
In 2021, we intend to further enhance our PayPal and Venmo digital wallets to increase their functionality and drive higher engagement on our Payments Platform. Our goal is to provide our consumers with a comprehensive set of services to manage their finances and enhance their ability to shop online and in person.
Our Payments Platform utilizes a combination of proprietary and third-party technologies and services intended to efficiently and securely facilitate transactions between millions of merchants and consumers worldwide across different channels, markets, and networks. Our Payments Platform connects with financial service providers around the world and allows consumers to make purchases using a wide range of payment methods, regardless of where a merchant is located. Consumers who use our Payments Platform can send payments in more than 200 markets around the world and in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds to their bank accounts in 56 currencies, and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies.
A transaction on our Payments Platform can involve multiple participants in addition to us, including a merchant, a consumer, and the consumer’s funding source provider. We have developed intuitive user interfaces, customer tools, transaction completion database, and network applications on our Payments Platform designed to enable our customers to utilize our suite of products and services. Our Payments Platform, open application programming interfaces, and developer tools are designed to enable developers to innovate with ease and offer robust applications to our global ecosystem of merchants and consumers, while at the same time maintaining the security of our customers’ information.
The technology infrastructure supporting our Payments Platform simplifies the storage and processing of large amounts of data and facilitates the deployment and operation of large-scale global products and services in both our own data centers and when hosted by third party cloud service providers. Our technology infrastructure is designed around industry best practices intended to reduce downtime and help ensure the resiliency of our Payments Platform in the event of outages or catastrophic occurrences. Our Payments Platform incorporates multiple layers of protection for business continuity and system redundancy purposes and to help mitigate cybersecurity risks. We have a comprehensive cybersecurity program designed to protect our technology infrastructure and Payments Platform against cybersecurity threats, which includes regularly testing of our systems to identify and address potential vulnerabilities. We strive to continually improve our technology infrastructure and Payments Platform to enhance the customer experience and to increase efficiency, scalability, and security.
For additional information regarding risks relating to our technology infrastructure and cybersecurity, see the information in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” under the captions “Cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities could result in serious harm to our reputation, business, and financial condition” and “Business interruptions or systems failures may impair the availability of our websites, applications, products or services, or otherwise harm our business.”
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Total research and development expense was $1.4 billion in 2020 and $1.1 billion in both 2019 and 2018.
The protection of our intellectual property, including our trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, trade dress, and trade secrets, is important to the success of our business. We seek to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on applicable laws and regulations in the U.S. and internationally, as well as a variety of administrative procedures. We have registered our core brands as domain names and as trademarks in the U.S. and a large number of international jurisdictions. We also have an active program to continue to secure and enforce trademarks and domain names that corresponds to our brands in markets of interest. We have filed patent applications in the U.S. and in international jurisdictions covering certain aspects of our proprietary technology and new innovations. We also rely on contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights when offering or procuring products and services. We have routinely entered into confidentiality and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors, and non-disclosure agreements with parties with whom we conduct business to control access to, and use and disclosure of, our proprietary information.
For additional information regarding risks relating to our intellectual property, see the information in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” under the captions “Third parties may allege that we are infringing their patents and other intellectual property rights" and “We may be unable to adequately protect or enforce our intellectual property rights.”
We operate globally and in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment characterized by a heightened focus by regulators globally on all aspects of the payments industry, including countering terrorist financing, anti-money laundering, privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection. The laws and regulations applicable to us, including those enacted prior to the advent of digital and mobile payments, are continuing to evolve through legislative and regulatory action and judicial interpretation. New or changing laws and regulations, including changes to their interpretation or implementation, as well as increased penalties and enforcement actions related to non-compliance, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We monitor these areas closely and are focused on designing compliant solutions for our customers.
Government regulation impacts key aspects of our business. We are subject to regulations that affect the payments industry in the markets we operate.
Payments Regulation. Various laws and regulations govern the payments industry in the U.S. and internationally. In the U.S., PayPal, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary) holds licenses to operate as a money transmitter (or its equivalent) in the states where such licenses are required, as well as in the District of Columbia and certain territories. These licenses include not only the PayPal branded products and services offered in these locations, but also our Venmo, Hyperwallet and Xoom products and services to the extent offered in these locations. As a licensed money transmitter, PayPal is subject to, among other requirements, restrictions with respect to the investment of customer funds, reporting requirements, bonding requirements, and inspection by state regulatory agencies. In certain cases, these licenses also generally cover PayPal’s service enabling customers to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account, which is currently available only in the U.S. In the State of New York, PayPal has obtained a conditional virtual currency license from the New York Department of Financial Services to offer cryptocurrency services in the state in partnership with Paxos Trust Company. Outside the U.S., we provide similar services customized for various countries and foreign jurisdictions through our foreign subsidiaries. The activities of those non-U.S. entities are, or may be, supervised by a financial regulatory authority in the jurisdictions in which they operate. Among other regulatory authorities, the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (the “CSSF”), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the People’s Bank of China, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Reserve Bank of India, the Central Bank of Russia, and the Central Bank of Brazil have asserted jurisdiction over some or all of our activities in their respective jurisdictions. This list is not exhaustive, and there are numerous other regulatory agencies that have or may assert jurisdiction over our activities. The laws and regulations applicable to the payments industry in any given jurisdiction are subject to interpretation and change.
In addition, financial services regulators in various jurisdictions, including the U.S. and the European Union (“EU”), have implemented authentication requirements for banks and payment processors intended to reduce online fraud, which could impose significant costs, make it more difficult for new customers to join PayPal, and reduce the ease of use of our products.
Banking Agency Supervision. We serve our customers in the EU through PayPal (Europe) S.à.r.l. et Cie, SCA, a wholly-owned subsidiary that is licensed and subject to regulation as a bank in Luxembourg by the CSSF. Consequently, we must comply with rules and regulations of the European banking industry, including those related to capitalization, funds management, corporate governance, anti-money laundering, disclosure, reporting, and inspection. We are, or may be, subject to banking-related regulations in other countries now or in the future related to our role in the financial industry. In addition, based on our relationships with our partner financial institutions, we are, or may be, subject to indirect regulation and examination by these financial institutions’ regulators.
Lending Regulation. PayPal’s U.S. consumer short-term installment loan product is subject to state lending laws (some of which require licensure and/or state regulator notification), state collection laws, as well as compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B as implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) and other applicable laws and regulations.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB has significant authority to regulate consumer financial products in the U.S., including consumer credit, deposits, payments, and similar products. As a large market participant of remittance transfers, the CFPB has direct supervisory authority over our business. The CFPB and similar regulatory agencies in other jurisdictions may have broad consumer protection mandates that could result in the promulgation and interpretation of rules and regulations that may affect our business.
Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing, and Sanctions. PayPal is subject to anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws and regulations in the U.S. and other jurisdictions, as well as laws designed to prevent the use of the financial systems to facilitate terrorist activities. Our AML program is designed to prevent our Payments Platform from being used to facilitate money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit activities, or to do business in countries or with persons and entities included on designated country or person lists promulgated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls (“OFAC”) and equivalent authorities in other countries. Our AML and sanctions compliance programs, overseen by our AML/Bank Secrecy Act Officer, is composed of policies, procedures, and internal controls, and is designed to address these legal and regulatory requirements and assist in managing money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
Interchange Fees. Interchange fees associated with four-party payments systems are being reviewed or challenged in various jurisdictions. For example, in the EU, the Multilateral Interchange Fee (“MIF”) Regulation caps interchange fees for credit and debit card payments and provides for business rules to be complied with by any company dealing with payment card transactions, including PayPal. As a result, the fees that we collect in certain jurisdictions may become the subject of regulatory challenge.
Data Protection and Information Security. We are subject to a number of laws, rules, directives, and regulations (“privacy and data protection laws”) relating to the collection, use, retention, security, processing, and transfer (collectively, “processing”) of personally identifiable information about our customers, our merchants’ customers, and employees (“personal data”) in the countries where we operate. Our business relies on the processing of personal data in many jurisdictions and the movement of data across national borders. As a result, much of the personal data that we process, which may include certain financial information associated with individuals, is subject to one or more privacy and data protection laws in one or more jurisdictions. In many cases, these laws apply not only to third-party transactions, but also to transfers of information between or among us, our subsidiaries, and other parties with which we have commercial relationships. The EU has adopted a comprehensive General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), which came into effect in May 2018. GDPR expanded the scope of the EU data protection law to foreign companies processing personal data of European Economic Area (“EEA”) individuals and imposed a stricter data protection compliance regime. In the U.S., we are subject to privacy and information safeguarding requirements under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act, which requires privacy protections comparable to those afforded by the GDPR, as well as the maintenance of a written, comprehensive information security program. In Europe, the operations of our Luxembourg bank are subject to confidentiality and information safeguarding requirements under the Luxembourg Banking Act.
PayPal relies on a variety of compliance methods to transfer personal data of EEA individuals to the U.S., including reliance on Binding Corporate Rules (“BCRs”) for internal transfers of certain types of personal data and Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”). PayPal must also ensure that third parties processing personal data of PayPal’s EEA customers and/or employees outside of the EEA have compliant transfer mechanisms. In July 2020, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) invalidated the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield - safe harbor framework that was previously relied upon by some PayPal vendors, and PayPal entered into SCCs with those third parties. PayPal did not certify under the Privacy Shield regime and continues to use SCCs and BCRs as the primary cross border data transfer mechanisms. However, the ECJ ruling made clear that these transfer mechanisms will be subject to additional scrutiny as well. To the extent PayPal relies on SCCs, or any third party relies on the Privacy Shield regime for the compliant transfer of personal data, PayPal’s ability to process EEA personal data to such parties could be jeopardized.
Regulatory scrutiny of privacy, data protection, cybersecurity practices, and the processing of personal data is increasing around the world. Regulatory authorities are continuously considering numerous legislative and regulatory proposals and interpretive guidelines that may contain additional privacy and data protection obligations. In addition, the interpretation and application of these privacy and data protection laws in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere are often uncertain and in a state of flux.
Anti-Corruption. PayPal is subject to applicable anti-corruption laws, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act, and similar laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Anti-corruption laws generally prohibit offering, promising, giving, accepting, or authorizing others to provide anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to or from a government official or private party in order to influence official action or otherwise gain an unfair business advantage, such as to obtain or retain business. We have implemented policies, procedures, and internal controls that are designed to comply with these laws and regulations.
Additional Regulatory Developments. Various regulatory agencies continue to examine and implement laws governing a wide variety of issues, including virtual currencies, identity theft, account management guidelines, disclosure rules, cybersecurity, and marketing, which may impact PayPal’s business.
For an additional discussion on governmental regulation affecting our business, please see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Item 3. Legal Proceedings” included in this Form 10-K.
Global Talent Management
At PayPal, we consider the management of our global talent (human capital) to be essential to the ongoing success of our business. As of December 31, 2020, we employed approximately 26,500 people globally, representing approximately 150 nationalities, located in more than 30 countries, including approximately 12,300 located in the U.S.
Attracting, recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse talent enables us to provide our customers with products and services that help them to thrive in the global economy, and serve our stakeholders. We are focused on supporting our employees across the full employee lifecycle from recruitment to onboarding to development, and have implemented programs designed to promote their total wellness, particularly during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in 2020, we enhanced our Crisis Leave Program, provided flexible work arrangements, and adjusted our benefits to include additional mental health support.
We use employee feedback to directly inform the ongoing development of our employee programs. In addition to administering an annual survey to gather input from our global workforce, we conducted regular wellness surveys throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to get real-time feedback from our employees. For our 2020 annual employee survey, we heard from 85% of our global employees. Our engagement score, which reflects employees that would recommend PayPal to their peers and/or are happy at PayPal was 84%, representing a four percentage point increase compared to 2019. In 2020, we continued to enhance our employee programs based on results from our 2019 survey and other employee input. For example, we established in-person feedback sessions to improve efficiencies, enhanced employee communication strategies, and launched additional learning and development programs. We also evaluate employee survey responses for feedback on other key components of our culture and programs. The detailed scores are shared across the organization and analyzed to understand differences by geography, demographics, and job level, and to identify opportunities for further improvement.
Talent Acquisition and Development
As a leading technology platform and digital payments company, we compete for top global talent around the world. We believe that a strong culture focused on employee experiences that enables advancement, learning, and individual career insights is essential to the successful acquisition, retention, and development of diverse talent. To that end, we have implemented programs focused on inclusive hiring practices, enriched virtual new hire experiences, individual coaching, and mentorship programs, and provided ongoing learning opportunities, including unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning.
We remain focused on promoting the total wellness of our employees, including resources, programs and services to support our employees’ physical, mental, and financial wellness. As part of our integrated approach to benefits, we have made strengthening employee financial wellness a strategic priority at PayPal. In late 2019, we designed an inclusive program that raised wages (where appropriate), lowered the cost of U.S. healthcare benefits for hourly-wage earners, offered new financial tools and resources, and granted equity or equity-based awards to all employees of the company, subject to legal limitations. We continue to extend this initiative and recently added resources for employees to improve their cash flow through access to early earned wages and modified retirement programs in select global markets.
Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Belonging
Our focus on fostering diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging (“DIEB”) is critical to our global talent strategy and pivotal to building a culture that embraces individual characteristics, values diversity, minimizes barriers, and enhances feelings of security and support across the workplace. We are committed to equal pay for equal work, promoting enterprise-wide inclusive learning opportunities, and partnering with leading organizations to embed DIEB considerations into our talent strategy. We empower eight employee resource groups to promote community and authenticity for employees that identify as Black, Latinx, women, interfaith, veterans, LGBTQ+, Asian, and disabled persons. These groups drive ongoing employee engagement around the world for all employees, regardless of background, to support and champion their peers and related causes. In 2020, we also announced a targeted commitment to support Black- and minority-owned businesses, and underrepresented communities and employees, including additional financial commitments to enhance our employee resource groups, cultivate diverse talent pipelines, and create inclusive onboarding and skill building opportunities.
As part of our annual environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) reporting, we provide additional information on our global talent strategy, including detailed representation metrics, in our Global Impact Report available at https://investor.pypl.com/esg-strategy/default.aspx.
The address of our principal executive offices is PayPal Holdings, Inc., 2211 North First Street, San Jose, California 95131. Our website is located at www.paypal.com, and our investor relations website is located at https://investor.pypl.com. From time to time, we may use our investor relations site and other online and social media channels, including the PayPal Newsroom (https://newsroom.paypal-corp.com/), PayPal Stories Blog (https://www.paypal.com/stories/us), Twitter handles (@PayPal and @PayPalNews), LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin.com/company/paypal), Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PayPalUSA/), YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/paypal), Dan Schulman’s LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-schulman/), John Rainey’s LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com/in/john-rainey-pypl), Dan Schulman’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DanSchulmanPayPal/), and Dan Schulman’s Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/dan_schulman/) as a means of disclosing information about the Company and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation Fair Disclosure (“FD”). Our Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports are available free of charge on our investor relations website as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. The content of our websites and information we may post on or provide to online and social media channels, including those mentioned above, and information that can be accessed through our websites or these online and social media channels is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites or these online and social media channels are intended to be inactive textual references only.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
You should carefully review this section in addition to the other information appearing in this Form 10-K, including our consolidated financial statements and related notes, for important information regarding risks and uncertainties that affect us. The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones we face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently believe are not material, may also become important factors that adversely affect our business. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, and future prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC RISKS
The novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
There are no comparable recent events that provide guidance as to the effect that the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic may have. The ultimate extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business, financial condition, and results of operations will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain, difficult to predict, and subject to change, including, but not limited to, the duration, scope, severity, and geographic spread of the outbreak, its impact on the global economy, actions taken to contain or limit the impact of COVID-19, such as the availability of an effective vaccine or treatment, geographic variation in how countries and states are handling the pandemic, and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions may potentially resume.
The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted and is likely to further adversely impact the operations of our customers, suppliers, vendors and other business partners, and may adversely impact our results of operations in the future. Cross-border and domestic commerce may be adversely impacted by measures taken by government authorities and businesses globally to contain and limit the outbreak’s spread, including travel restrictions, border closures, quarantines, shelter in place and lock down orders, mask and social distancing requirements, and business limitations and shutdowns. To the extent that such mitigation measures remain in place or are reinstated for significant periods of time, they may adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Actions that we have taken or may take in the future intended to assist customers impacted by COVID-19 may negatively impact our results of operations. In particular, we have experienced and may continue to experience adverse financial impacts from a number of operational factors, including, but not limited to:
•Merchants selling goods or services in advance of the date of their delivery (e.g., travel and events verticals) or experiencing bankruptcy, insolvency, business failure, or other business interruption, which could result in our becoming liable to the buyers of such goods or services through our buyer protection program or through chargebacks on payment cards used by customers to fund their payments;
•Merchants who utilize PayPal branded merchant credit products such as PayPal Working Capital and PayPal Business Loan products or consumers who utilize PayPal branded consumer credit products defaulting on their payment obligations;
•Increased cybersecurity and payment fraud risk related to COVID-19, as cybercriminals attempt to profit from the disruption in light of increased online banking, e-commerce, and other online activity;
•Challenges to the availability and reliability of our products and services resulting from changes to our normal operations, including due to one or more clusters of COVID-19 cases occurring at our (or our service providers’) sites or mandatory local lock-down requirements, which may impact our employees, our level of customer service, and/or the systems or employees of our customers and business partners; and
•An increased volume of customer requests for support and regulatory requests for information and support or additional regulatory requirements, which could require additional resources and costs to address.
Additionally, COVID-19 has negatively impacted the financial viability and operations of merchants in certain verticals (such as travel and events) and, as a result, allowances for transaction and credit losses may not accurately reflect the amount of losses that PayPal may be exposed to by these merchants. Further, we may not have the ability to accurately forecast the magnitude of such losses or any additional merchant segments that could be adversely impacted by COVID-19.
Our business has benefited from the shift from in-store shopping and traditional payment methods towards e-commerce and digital payments, including a significant increase in net new active accounts and payments volume. To the extent that customer preferences revert to pre-COVID-19 behaviors as mitigation measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 are lifted or relaxed and an effective vaccine or treatments for COVID-19 becomes available, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
The significant increase in the number of our employees who are working remotely as a result of the pandemic, and an extended period of remote work arrangements and subsequent reintroduction into the workplace could introduce operational risk, increase cybersecurity risk, strain our business continuity plans, negatively impact productivity, and give rise to claims by employees or otherwise adversely affect our business. Additionally, COVID-19 could require new or modified processes, procedures, and controls to respond to changes in our business environment. We may take further actions as may be required by government authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, and business partners. There is no certainty that such measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19 or will otherwise be satisfactory to government authorities.
The impacts of COVID-19, individually or collectively, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations and have the effect of heightening or exacerbating many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section.
CYBERSECURITY AND TECHNOLOGY RISKS
Cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities could result in serious harm to our reputation, business, and financial condition.
The techniques used to obtain unauthorized, improper, or illegal access to systems and information (including customers’ personal data), disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems are constantly evolving, and often are not recognized or detected until after they have been launched against a target. Unauthorized parties have attempted, and we expect that they will continue to attempt, to gain access to our systems or facilities through various means, including, but not limited to, hacking into our systems or facilities or those of our customers, partners, or vendors, and attempting to fraudulently induce users of our systems (including employees and customers) into disclosing user names, passwords, payment card information, or other sensitive information. This information may in turn be used to access our customers’ personal or proprietary information and payment card data that are stored on or accessible through our information technology systems and those of third parties with whom we partner. Numerous and evolving cybersecurity threats, including advanced and persisting cyberattacks, cyberextortion, spear phishing and social engineering schemes, the introduction of computer viruses or other malware, and the physical destruction of all or portions of our information technology and infrastructure and those of third parties with whom we partner could compromise the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the data in our systems. We have experienced from time to time, and may experience in the future, breaches of our security measures due to human error, malfeasance, insider threats, system errors or vulnerabilities, or other irregularities. We believe that PayPal is a particularly attractive target due to our name and brand recognition and the widespread adoption and use of our products and services.
Any cyberattacks or data security breaches affecting the information technology or infrastructure of companies we acquire or of our customers, partners, or vendors (including data center and cloud computing providers) could have similar negative effects. For example, in November 2017, we suspended the operations of TIO Networks (“TIO”) (acquired in July 2017) as part of an investigation of security vulnerabilities of the TIO platform. In December 2017, we announced that we had identified evidence of unauthorized access to TIO’s network and the potential compromise of personally identifiable information for approximately 1.6 million TIO customers. This incident resulted in governmental inquiries and civil claims against us and may lead to additional inquiries and claims in the future.
Under payment card network rules and our contracts with our payment processors, if there is a breach of payment card information that we store, or that is stored by our direct payment card processing vendors, we could be liable to the payment card issuing banks for their cost of issuing new cards and related expenses. Cybersecurity breaches and security vulnerabilities could subject us to significant costs and liabilities, result in improper disclosure of data and violations of applicable privacy and other laws, require us to change our business practices, cause us to incur significant remediation costs, lead to loss of customer confidence in, or decreased use of, our products and services, damage our reputation and brands, divert the attention of management from the operation of our business, or result in significant compensation or contractual penalties from us to our customers and their business partners as a result of losses to or claims by them. While we maintain insurance policies, our coverage may be insufficient to compensate us for all losses caused by security breaches.
Business interruptions or systems failures may impair the availability of our websites, applications, products or services, or otherwise harm our business.
Our systems and operations and those of our service providers and partners have experienced from time to time, and may experience in the future business interruptions or degradation because of distributed denial-of-service and other cyberattacks, insider threats, hardware and software defects or malfunctions, human error, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and other natural disasters, public health crises (including pandemics), power losses, disruptions in telecommunications services, fraud, military or political conflicts, terrorist attacks, computer viruses or other malware, or other events. Our corporate headquarters are located in the Silicon Valley, a seismically active region in California. A catastrophic event that results in a disruption or failure of our systems or operations could result in significant losses and require substantial recovery time and significant expenditures to resume or maintain operations, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Additionally, some of our systems, including those of companies we have acquired, are not fully redundant, and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient for all possible outcomes or events. As a provider of payments solutions, we are subject to heightened scrutiny by regulators that may require specific business continuity, resiliency and disaster recovery plans, and rigorous testing of such plans, which may be costly and time-consuming to implement, and may divert our resources from other business priorities.
We have experienced, and expect to continue to experience system failures, denial-of-service attacks, and other events or conditions from time to time that interrupt the availability, or reduce or adversely affect the speed or functionality, of our products and services. These events have resulted and likely will continue to result in loss of revenue. A prolonged interruption in the availability or reduction in the availability, speed, or functionality of our products and services could materially harm our business. Frequent or persistent interruptions in our services could permanently harm our relationship with our customers and partners and our reputation. Moreover, if any system failure or similar event results in damages to our customers or their business partners, these customers or partners could seek significant compensation or contractual penalties from us for their losses, and those claims, even if unsuccessful, would likely be time-consuming and costly for us to address, and could have other consequences described in this “Risk Factors” section under the caption “Cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities could result in serious harm to our reputation, business, and financial condition.”
Our Payments Platform has experienced and may in the future experience intermittent unavailability. We have undertaken and continue to undertake certain system upgrades and re-platforming efforts designed to improve our reliability, resiliency, and speed. These efforts are costly and time-consuming, involve significant technical risk, and may divert our resources from new features and products, and there can be no guarantee that these efforts will succeed. Frequent or persistent site interruptions could lead to regulatory scrutiny, significant fines and penalties, and mandatory and costly changes to our business practices, and ultimately could cause us to lose existing licenses that we need to operate or prevent or delay us from obtaining additional licenses that may be required for our business.
We also rely on facilities, components, applications, and services supplied by third parties, including data center facilities and cloud storage services. From time to time, such third parties have ceased to provide us with such facilities and services. If these third parties experience operational interference or disruptions (including a cybersecurity incident), breach their agreements with us, or fail to perform their obligations and meet our expectations, our operations could be disrupted or otherwise negatively affected, which could result in customer dissatisfaction, regulatory scrutiny, and damage to our reputation and brands, and materially and adversely affect our business. While we maintain business interruption insurance, it may not be sufficient to reimburse us for losses caused by interruptions in our service as a result of systems failures and similar events.
In addition, any failure to successfully implement new information systems and technologies, or improvements or upgrades to existing information systems and technologies in a timely manner could have an adverse impact on our business, internal controls (including internal controls over financial reporting), results of operations, and financial condition.
If we cannot keep pace with rapid technological developments to provide new and innovative products and services, the use of our products and services and, consequently, our revenues, could decline.
Rapid, significant, and disruptive technological changes impact the industries in which we operate, for example, payment technologies (including real-time payments, payment card tokenization, virtual currencies, distributed ledger and blockchain technologies, and proximity payment technology such as NFC and other contactless payments); internet browser technologies, that enable users to easily store their payment card information for use on any retail or e-commerce website; artificial intelligence and machine learning; developments in technologies supporting our regulatory and compliance obligations; and in-store, digital, mobile, and social commerce.
We expect new services and technologies to continue to emerge and evolve, and we cannot predict the effects of technological changes on our business. We rely in part on third parties, including some of our competitors, for the development of and access to new or evolving technologies. These third parties may restrict or prevent our access to, or utilization of, those technologies, as well as their platforms or products. We may not be able to accurately predict which technological developments or innovations will become widely adopted and how those technologies may be regulated. We expect that new services and technologies applicable to the industries in which we operate will continue to emerge and may be superior to, or render obsolete, the technologies we currently use in our products and services. Developing and incorporating new technologies into our products and services may require significant investment, take considerable time, and ultimately may not be successful. Our ability to adopt new products and services and to develop new technologies may be limited or restricted by industry-wide standards, platform providers, payments networks, changes to laws and regulations, changing expectations of consumers or merchants, third-party intellectual property rights, and other factors. Our success will depend on our ability to develop and incorporate new technologies and adapt to technological changes and evolving industry standards. If we are unable to do so in a timely or cost-effective manner, our business could be harmed.
LEGAL, REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE RISKS
Our business is subject to extensive government regulation and oversight. Our failure to comply with extensive, complex, overlapping, and frequently changing rules, regulations, and legal interpretations could materially harm our business.
Our business is subject to complex and changing laws, rules, regulations, policies, and legal interpretations in the markets in which we operate, including, but not limited to, those governing: banking, credit, deposit taking, cross-border and domestic money transmission, prepaid access, foreign currency exchange, privacy and data protection, data governance, cybersecurity, banking secrecy, digital payments and cryptocurrency, payment services (including payment processing and settlement services), fraud detection, consumer protection, antitrust and competition, economic and trade sanctions, anti-money laundering, and counter-terrorist financing.
Regulators globally have been establishing and increasing their regulatory authority, oversight, and enforcement in ways that impact our business. As we introduce new products and services and expand into new markets, including through acquisitions, we may become subject to additional regulations, restrictions, and licensing requirements. As we expand and localize our international activities, we expect that our obligations in the markets in which we operate will continue to increase. In addition, because we facilitate sales of goods and provide services to customers worldwide, one or more jurisdictions may claim that we or our customers are required to comply with their laws which may impose different, more specific, or conflicting obligations on us, as well as broader liability.
Any failure or perceived failure to comply with existing or new laws, regulations, or orders of any government authority (including changes to or expansion of their interpretation) may subject us to significant fines, penalties, criminal and civil lawsuits, forfeiture of significant assets, and enforcement actions in one or more jurisdictions; result in additional compliance and licensure requirements; cause us to lose existing licenses or prevent or delay us from obtaining additional licenses that may be required for our business; increase regulatory scrutiny of our business; divert management’s time and attention from our business; restrict our operations; lead to increased friction for customers; force us to make changes to our business practices, products or operations; require us to engage in remediation activities; or delay planned transactions, product launches or improvements. Any of the foregoing could, individually or in the aggregate, harm our reputation, damage our brands and business, and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. The complexity of U.S. federal and state and international regulatory and enforcement regimes, coupled with the global scope of our operations and the evolving global regulatory environment, could result in a single event prompting a large number of overlapping investigations and legal and regulatory proceedings by multiple government authorities in different jurisdictions. We have implemented policies and procedures designed to help ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, but there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors, and agents will not violate such laws and regulations.
In the U.S., PayPal, Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary) holds licenses to operate as a money transmitter (or its equivalent) in the states where such licenses are required, as well as in the District of Columbia and certain territories (as described further in “Item 1. Business – Government Regulation” of this Form 10-K). If we violate the laws or regulations covered under our licenses, we could be subject to liability and/or additional restrictions, forced to cease doing business with residents of certain states, forced to change our business practices, or required to obtain additional licenses or regulatory approvals, which could impose substantial costs.
While we currently allow our customers to send payments from approximately 200 markets, we allow customers in only approximately half of those markets (including the U.S.) to also receive payments, in some cases with significant restrictions on the manner in which customers can hold balances or withdraw funds. These limitations may adversely affect our ability to grow our business in these markets.
We principally provide our services to customers in the European Union (“EU”) and the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) through PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A (“PayPal (Europe)”), our wholly-owned subsidiary that is licensed and subject to regulation as a credit institution in Luxembourg. PayPal (Europe) is potentially subject to significant fines or other enforcement action if it violates applicable requirements imposed on Luxembourg credit institutions. Additionally, compliance with EU laws and regulations could become more costly and operationally difficult to manage due to potentially inconsistent interpretations and domestic regulations by EU member countries. European Directives, such as the Revised Payment Services Directive (“PSD2”) enabling payment and account information sharing by regulated payment providers, could subject us to data security and other legal and financial risks. If the business activities of PayPal (Europe) exceed certain thresholds, or if the European Central Bank (“ECB”) determines, PayPal (Europe) may be deemed a significant supervised entity and certain activity of PayPal (Europe) could become directly supervised by the ECB, rather than by the CSSF (the Luxembourg regulator), which
could subject us to additional requirements and would likely increase compliance costs.
In many of the other markets outside the U.S. in which we do business, we serve our customers through PayPal Pte. Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary based in Singapore. PayPal Pte. Ltd. is supervised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”), but does not hold a remittance license. As a result, PayPal Pte. Ltd. is not able to offer outbound remittance payments from Singapore. In many of the markets (other than Singapore) served by PayPal Pte. Ltd., it is unclear and uncertain whether our Singapore-based service is subject only to Singapore law or, if it is subject to the application of local laws, whether such local laws would require a payment processor like us to be licensed as a payments service, bank, financial institution, or otherwise. The Payment Services Act came into effect in Singapore in January 2020. PayPal Pte. Ltd. has submitted an application for a Major Payment Institution license to the MAS to continue to provide payments services. It will continue to operate within a statutory transition period while the application is pending. Once PayPal Pte. Ltd. obtains its license, we will be required to comply with new regulatory requirements, which will result in increased operational complexity and costs for our Singapore and international operations.
In the additional markets in which we do business, we provide our services to customers through a local subsidiary subject to local regulatory supervision or oversight and we may be subject to significant fines or other enforcement actions if we violate applicable requirements. From time to time, we may also acquire entities subject to local payments regulatory supervision or oversight.
There are substantial costs and potential product and operational changes involved in maintaining and renewing licenses, certifications, and approvals, and we could be subject to fines, other enforcement actions, and litigation if we are found to violate any of these requirements. There can be no assurance that we will be able to (or decide to) continue to apply for or obtain any licenses, renewals, certifications, and approvals in any jurisdictions. In certain markets, we may rely on local banks or other partners to process payments and conduct foreign currency exchange transactions in local currency, and local regulators may use their authority over such local partners to prohibit, restrict, or limit us from doing business. The need to obtain or maintain licenses, certifications, or other regulatory approvals could impose substantial additional costs, delay or preclude planned transactions, product launches or improvements, require significant and costly operational changes, impose restrictions, limitations, or additional requirements on our business, products and services, or prevent us from providing our products or services in a given market.
PayPal’s U.S. consumer short-term installment loan product is subject to state lending laws (some of which require licensure and/or state regulator notification), state collection laws, as well as compliance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B as implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and other applicable laws and regulations. Changes to state laws and regulatory interpretation may require us to make product changes, incur substantial additional costs, or cease lending in a particular state. We could be subject to fines, other enforcement action, and litigation if we are found to violate any aspects of installment loan regulations.
Violations of federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations, including the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (“EFTA”) and Regulation E as implemented by the CFPB, could result in the assessment of significant actual damages or statutory damages or penalties (including treble damages in some instances) and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees. We are subject to, and have paid amounts in settlement of, lawsuits containing allegations that our business violated the EFTA and Regulation E or otherwise advance claims for relief relating to our business practices (e.g., that we improperly held consumer funds or otherwise improperly limited consumer accounts).
The CFPB issued a final rule on prepaid accounts that came into effect on April 1, 2019. We have implemented certain changes to comply with the final rule and made substantial changes to the design of certain U.S. consumer accounts and their operability, which could lead to unintended customer confusion and dissatisfaction, discourage customers from opening new accounts, require us to reallocate resources, and increase our costs, which could negatively affect our business.
PayPal principally offers its services in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) countries through a “passport” notification process through the Luxembourg regulator (in the case of PayPal (Europe)) to regulators in other EEA member states in accordance with EU regulations. Regulators in these countries could notify us of local consumer protection laws that apply to our business, in addition to Luxembourg consumer protection laws, and could also seek to persuade the local regulator to order PayPal to conduct its activities in the local country directly or through a branch office. These or similar actions by these regulators could increase the cost of, or delay, our ability to expand our business in Europe.
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing; Economic and Trade Sanctions
Regulators in the U.S. and around the world continue to increase standards and expectations regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing, and expand the scope of existing laws and regulations to emerging products and markets, which may require us to further revise or expand our compliance program globally and/or in specific jurisdictions, including the procedures we use to verify the identity of our customers and to monitor international and domestic transactions. Such changes could have the effect of making compliance more costly and operationally difficult to manage, lead to increased friction for customers, and result in a decrease in business. Regulators regularly re-examine the transaction volume thresholds at which we must obtain and keep applicable records or verify identities of customers and any change in such thresholds could result in greater compliance costs and impact our business. In addition, we are required to comply with economic and trade sanctions administered by the U.S, the EU, relevant EU member states, and other jurisdictions in which we operate. Non-compliance with anti-money laundering laws and regulations or economic and trade sanctions may subject us to significant fines, penalties, lawsuits, and enforcement actions, result in regulatory sanctions and additional compliance requirements, increase regulatory scrutiny of our business, restrict our operations, or damage our reputation and brands. See “Note 13—Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements for disclosure relating to possible violations arising from our sanctions compliance program.
Privacy and Protection of Customer Data
The legal and regulatory environment relating to “privacy and data protection laws” (as defined in “Item 1. Business— Government Regulation”) continues to develop and evolve in ways we cannot predict, including with respect to technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with our privacy policies as communicated to users or with privacy and data protection laws could result in proceedings or actions against us by data protection authorities, government entities, or others. Such proceedings or actions could subject us to significant fines, penalties, judgments, and negative publicity which may require us to change our business practices, increase the costs and complexity of compliance, and materially harm our business. In addition, compliance with inconsistent privacy and data protection laws may restrict our ability to provide products and services to our customers. For further information regarding data protection and information security, see “Item 1. Business—Government Regulation”.
PayPal relies on a variety of compliance methods to transfer personal data of EEA individuals to the U.S., including Binding Corporate Rules (“BCRs”) for internal transfers of certain types of personal data and Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) as approved by the European Commission for transfers to and from third parties. PayPal must also ensure that third parties processing personal data of PayPal’s EEA customers and/or employees outside of the EEA have compliant transfer mechanisms. In July 2020, the European Court of Justice invalidated the Privacy Shield regime and raised several questions regarding the efficacy of SCCs focusing on whether data transfers under SCCs are consistent with the EU privacy principles. To the extent PayPal relies on SCCs, or any third party relies on the Privacy Shield regime for the compliant transfer of personal data, PayPal’s ability to process EEA personal data to such parties could be jeopardized.
We are subject to regulatory activity and legal proceedings under antitrust and competition laws.
We are subject to scrutiny by various government agencies regarding antitrust and competition laws and regulations in the U.S. and internationally, including in connection with proposed business combinations, acquisitions, and investments. Some jurisdictions also provide private rights of action for competitors or consumers to assert claims of anticompetitive conduct. Other companies and government agencies have in the past and may in the future allege that our actions violate the antitrust or competition laws of the U.S., individual states, other countries, or the EU, or otherwise constitute unfair competition. Some regulators and legislators, particularly those outside of the U.S., may perceive that our products and services are used so broadly that otherwise uncontroversial business practices could be deemed anticompetitive. Any claims or investigations, even if without merit, may be very expensive to defend or respond to, involve negative publicity, and substantial diversion of management time and effort, and could result in reputational harm, significant judgments, fines and remedial actions against us, or require us to change our business practices, make product or operational changes, or delay or preclude planned transactions, product launches or improvements.
We are regularly subject to general litigation, regulatory actions, and government inquiries.
We are regularly subject to claims, individual and class action lawsuits, government and regulatory investigations, inquiries, actions or requests, and other proceedings alleging violations of laws, rules, and regulations with respect to competition, antitrust, intellectual property, privacy, data protection, information security, anti-money laundering, counter-terrorist financing, sanctions, anti-corruption, consumer protection, fraud, accessibility, securities, tax, labor and employment, commercial
disputes, services, charitable fundraising, contract disputes, escheatment of unclaimed or abandoned property, product liability, the matters described in “Note 13—Commitments and Contingencies—Litigation and Regulatory Matters—General Matters” to our consolidated financial statements, and other matters. The number and significance of these disputes and inquiries may increase as our business expands in scale, scope, and geographic reach, including through acquisitions of businesses and technology, and our products and services increase in scale and complexity. The legal proceedings are inherently uncertain, expensive and disruptive to our operations, and could result in substantial payments to satisfy judgments, fines, penalties or settlements, negative publicity, substantial diversion of management time and effort, reputational harm, criminal sanctions, orders that prevent us from offering certain products or services, requirements to change our business practices in costly ways, develop non-infringing or otherwise altered products or technologies, pay substantial royalty or licensing fees or delay or preclude planned transactions, product launches or improvements. Determining legal reserves or possible losses from such matters involves judgment and may not reflect the full range of uncertainties and unpredictable outcomes. We may be exposed to losses in excess of the amount recorded, and such amounts could be material. If any of our estimates and assumptions change or prove to have been incorrect, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.
Third parties may allege that we are infringing their patents and other intellectual property rights.
We are frequently subject to litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. At any given time, we are typically a defendant in a number of patent lawsuits and subject to intellectual property infringement claims. Intellectual property infringement claims against us may result from, among other things, our expansion into new business areas, including through acquisitions of businesses and technology, the expansion in scope and complexity of our products and services and their convergence with technologies not previously associated with areas related to our business, products, and services. The ultimate outcome of any allegation or claim is often uncertain and any such claim, with or without merit, may be time-consuming, result in costly litigation, divert management’s time and attention from our business, and require us to, among other things, redesign or stop providing our products or services, pay substantial amounts to settle claims or lawsuits, satisfy judgments, or pay substantial royalty or licensing fees.
We may be unable to adequately protect or enforce our intellectual property rights.
The protection of our intellectual property, including our trademarks, patents, copyrights, domain names, trade dress, and trade secrets, is important to the success of our business. Effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every jurisdiction in which we offer our products and services. Although we have generally taken measures to protect our intellectual property rights, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in protecting or enforcing our rights in every jurisdiction, or that our contractual arrangements will prevent or deter third parties from infringing or misappropriating our intellectual property, and third parties may independently develop equivalent or superior intellectual property rights. We may be required to expend significant time and expense to prevent infringement and enforce our rights, and we may not be able to discover or determine the extent of any unauthorized use of our proprietary rights. If we are unable to prevent third parties from using or offering technologies that infringe our patent or trade secret rights, the uniqueness and value of our products and services could be adversely affected. If we are unable to prevent third parties from adopting, registering, or using trademarks and trade dress that infringe, dilute, or otherwise violate our trademark rights, the value of our brands could be diminished and our business could be adversely affected. We have licensed in the past, and expect to license in the future, certain of our proprietary rights, such as trademarks or copyrighted material, to others. These licensees may take actions that diminish the value of our proprietary rights or harm our reputation. Any failure to adequately protect or enforce our intellectual property rights, or significant costs incurred in doing so, could diminish the value of our intangible assets and materially harm our business.
BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS RISKS
We face substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the global payments industry.
The global payments industry is highly competitive, continuously changing, highly innovative, and increasingly subject to regulatory scrutiny and oversight. Many areas in which we compete evolve rapidly with innovative and disruptive technologies, shifting user preferences and needs, price sensitivity of merchants and consumers, and frequent introductions of new products and services. Competition also may intensify as new competitors emerge, businesses enter into business combinations and partnerships, and established companies in other segments expand to become competitive with various aspects of our business.
We compete with a wide range of businesses. Some of our current and potential competitors are larger operationally and/or financially than we are, have larger customer bases, greater brand recognition, longer operating histories, a dominant or more secure position, broader geographic scope, volume, scale, resources, and market share than we do, or offer products and services that we do not offer, which may provide them significant competitive advantages. Some competitors may also be
subject to less burdensome regulatory requirements or may be smaller or younger companies that may be more agile and effective in responding quickly to user needs, technological innovations, and legal and regulatory changes. These competitors may devote greater resources to the development, promotion, and sale of products and services, and/or offer lower prices or more effectively offer their own innovative programs, products, and services. We often partner with many of these businesses and we consider the ability to continue establishing these partnerships to be important to our business. Competition for relationships with these partners is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to establish, grow, or maintain these partner relationships. See “Item 1. Business—Competition” of this Form 10-K for further discussion of the competitive environment in the markets where we operate. If we are not able to differentiate our products and services from those of our competitors, drive value for our customers, or effectively and efficiently align our resources with our goals and objectives, we may not be able to compete effectively in the market.
Changes to payment card networks or bank fees, rules, or practices could harm our business.
To process certain transactions, we must comply with applicable payment card network, bank or other network (collectively, “network”) rules. The rules govern all aspects of a transaction, including fees and other practices. From time to time, the networks have increased the fees and assessments that they charge for transactions that access their networks. Certain of the networks have also imposed special fees or assessments for transactions that are executed through a digital wallet such as the one that PayPal offers. Our payment processors may have the right to pass any increases in fees and assessments on to us as well as increase their own fees for processing. Any increase in interchange fees, special fees, or assessments for transactions that we pay to our payment processors or the networks could make our pricing less competitive, increase our operating costs, and reduce our operating income, which could materially harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
In some jurisdictions, government regulations have required the payment card networks to reduce or cap interchange fees. Any changes in interchange fee rates or limitations, or their applicability to PayPal, could adversely affect our competitive position against traditional payment card service providers and the revenue we earn from our branded card programs, require us to change our business practices and harm our business.
We may also be subject to fines assessed by the networks resulting from any rule violations by us or our merchants. The networks set and interpret their rules and have alleged from time to time that various aspects of our business model violate these operating rules. Such allegations may result in significant fines and penalties or require changes in our business practices that may be costly and adversely affect our business. The network rules may also increase the cost of, impose restrictions on, or otherwise impact the development of, our retail point-of-sale solutions, which may negatively affect their deployment and adoption. The networks could adopt new operating rules or interpret or re-interpret existing rules that we or our payment processors might find difficult or even impossible to follow, or costly to implement, which could require us to make significant changes to our products. If we become unable or limited in our ability to accept certain payment types such as debit or credit cards, our business would be adversely affected.
Changes in how consumers fund their PayPal transactions could harm our business.
We pay transaction fees when consumers fund payment transactions using credit cards, lower fees when consumers fund payments with debit cards, and nominal fees when consumers fund payment transactions by electronic transfer of funds from bank accounts, from an existing PayPal account balance or Venmo account balance, or through our PayPal branded consumer credit products. Our financial performance is sensitive to changes in the rate at which our consumers fund payments using payment cards, which can significantly increase our costs. Although we provide consumers in certain markets with the opportunity to use their existing PayPal account balance or Venmo account balance to fund payment transactions, some of our consumers may prefer to use payment cards, which may offer features and benefits not provided as part of their PayPal accounts. An increase in the portion of our payment volume funded using payment cards or in fees associated with our funding mix, or other events or developments that make it more difficult or costly for us to fund transactions with lower-cost funding options, could materially and adversely affect our financial performance and significantly harm our business.
Our ability to receive the benefit of our merchant lending offerings may be subject to challenge.
Merchant loans and advances under our U.S. PayPal Working Capital (“PPWC”) and PayPal Business Loan (“PPBL”) products are provided by a state chartered industrial bank under a program agreement with us, and we acquire the receivables generated by those loans after origination. In June 2020, largely in response to the Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC case decided in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) approved a final rule clarifying that loans originated by state-chartered banks remain valid throughout the lifetime of the loan, reflecting a similar rule finalized by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (“OCC”) in May 2020. The final rule reaffirms and codifies in regulation the so-called “valid-when-made doctrine,” which provides that the interest rate for a loan is determined when the
loan is made and will not be affected by subsequent events such as sale, assignment, or other transfer. A number of state attorneys general have challenged these FDIC and OCC rules, and there remains some uncertainty whether non-bank entities purchasing loan receivables originated by FDIC-insured, state chartered industrial banks, may rely on federal preemption of state usury laws and other state laws. An adverse outcome of these or similar challenges, or changes to applicable laws and regulations, could materially impact our U.S. PPWC and PPBL products and our business.
Our credit products expose us to additional risks.
We offer credit products to a wide range of consumers and merchants in the U.S. and various international markets. The financial success of these products depends on the effective management of related risk. The credit decision-making process for our consumer credit products uses proprietary methodologies and credit algorithms and other analytical techniques designed to analyze the credit risk of specific consumers based on, among other factors, their past purchase and transaction history with PayPal or Venmo and their credit scores. Similarly, proprietary risk models and other indicators are applied to assess merchants who desire to use our merchant lending offerings to help predict their ability to repay. These risk models may not accurately predict the creditworthiness of a consumer or merchant due to inaccurate assumptions, including those related to the particular consumer or merchant, market conditions, economic environment, or limited transaction history or other data. The accuracy of these risk models and the ability to manage credit risk related to our credit products may also be affected by legal or regulatory requirements, changes in consumer behavior, changes in the economic environment, issuing bank policies, and other factors.
We generally rely on third-party chartered financial institutions to provide PayPal and Venmo branded consumer credit and merchant lending offerings to our U.S. customers. As a service provider to these third-party chartered financial institutions, which are federally supervised U.S. financial institutions, we are subject from time to time to examination by their federal banking regulators. In the event of any termination or interruption in a partner bank’s ability or willingness to lend, our ability to offer consumer credit and merchant credit products could be interrupted or limited, which could materially and adversely affect our business. We may be unable to reach a similar arrangement with another chartered financial institution on favorable terms or at all. Obtaining licenses to originate such loans would be a costly, time-consuming and uncertain process, and would subject us to additional laws and regulatory requirements, which could significantly increase our costs and compliance obligations and require us to change our business practices.
We are subject to the risk that account holders who use our credit products will default on their payment obligations, creating the risk of potential charge-offs or negatively impacting our revenue share arrangement with Synchrony Bank. The non-payment rate among account holders may increase due to, among other factors, changes to underwriting standards, risk models not accurately predicting the creditworthiness of a user, worsening economic conditions, such as a recession or government austerity programs, increases in prevailing interest rates, and high unemployment rates. Account holders who miss payments often fail to repay their loans, and account holders who file for protection under the bankruptcy laws generally do not repay their loans.
We currently purchase receivables related to our merchant lending offerings in the U.S. and extend credit for our consumer and merchants products outside the U.S. through our international subsidiaries. If we are unable to fund our credit business adequately or in a cost-effective manner, or if we are unable to efficiently manage the cash resources utilized for these purposes, the growth of our credit business could be negatively impacted.
We rely on third parties in many aspects of our business, which creates additional risk.
We rely on third parties in many aspects of our business, including: networks, banks, payment processors, and payment gateways that link us to the payment card and bank clearing networks to process transactions; unaffiliated third-party lenders to originate our U.S. PayPal Credit, U.S. merchant credit, and branded credit card products; our branded debit card products; cryptocurrency custodial service providers; and external business partners and contractors who provide key functions (e.g., outsourced customer support and product development functions; facilities; information technology, data center facilities and cloud computing). These risks may include legal, regulatory, information security, reputational, operational, or any other risks inherent in engaging a third party. If we are unable to effectively manage our third-party relationships, these third parties are unable to meet their obligations to us, or we experience substantial disruptions in these relationships, our operations, results of operations, and financial results could be adversely impacted. Additionally, while we have policies and procedures for managing these relationships, they inherently involve a lesser degree of control over business operations, governance, and compliance, thereby potentially increasing our financial, legal, reputational, and operational risk.
Any factors that reduce cross-border trade or make such trade more difficult could harm our business.
Cross-border trade (i.e., transactions where the merchant and consumer are in different countries) is an important source of our revenues and profits. Cross-border transactions generally provide higher revenues and operating income than similar transactions that take place within a single country or market. In certain markets, cross-border trade represents our primary (and in some instances our only) presence.
Cross-border trade may be negatively impacted by various factors including foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and the interpretation and application of laws of multiple jurisdictions in the context of cross-border trade and foreign exchange. Any factors that increase the costs of cross-border trade for us or our customers or that restrict, delay, or make cross-border trade more difficult or impractical, such as trade policy or higher tariffs, could reduce our cross-border transactions and volume, negatively impact our revenues and profits, and harm our business.
Failure to deal effectively with fraud, fictitious transactions, bad transactions, and negative customer experiences would increase our loss rate and could negatively impact our business and severely diminish merchant and consumer confidence in and use of our services.
Our buyer and seller protection programs protect merchants and consumers from fraudulent transactions, and protect consumers if they do not receive the item ordered or if the item received is significantly different from its description. We incur substantial losses from our buyer and seller protection programs as a result of claims from consumers. We seek to recover losses from our buyer and seller protection programs from the merchant, but may not fully recover them if the merchant is unwilling or unable to pay or the transaction involves a fraudulent merchant. In addition, in the event of the bankruptcy or other business interruption of a merchant that sells goods or services in advance of the date of their delivery or use (e.g., airline, cruise, or concert tickets, custom-made goods, and subscriptions), we could be liable to the buyers of such goods or services, including through our buyer protection program or through chargebacks on payment cards used by customers to fund their payments. Allowances for transaction losses that we have established may be insufficient to cover incurred losses. We also incur substantial losses from claims that the consumer did not authorize the purchase, fraud, erroneous transactions, and customers who have closed bank accounts or have insufficient funds in their bank accounts to satisfy payments. In addition, consumers who pay through PayPal may have reimbursement rights from their payment card issuer, which in turn will seek recovery from us. If losses incurred by us related to payment card transactions become excessive, we could lose the ability to accept payment cards for payment, which would negatively impact our business. Measures to detect and reduce the risk of fraud require continuous improvement and may not be effective in detecting and preventing fraud, particularly new and continually evolving forms of fraud or in connection with new or expanded product offerings. If these measures do not succeed, our business could be negatively impacted. Increases in our loss rate, including as a result of changes to the scope of transactions covered by our buyer and seller protection programs, could negatively impact our business. See “Note 13—Commitments and Contingencies— Protection Programs” to our consolidated financial statements.
Use of our payments services for illegal purposes could harm our business.
Our payment system is susceptible to potentially illegal or improper uses, including money laundering, terrorist financing, sanctions evasion, illegal online gambling, fraudulent sales of goods or services, illegal sales of prescription medications or controlled substances, piracy of software, movies, music, and other copyrighted or trademarked goods (in particular, digital goods), bank fraud, child pornography, human trafficking, prohibited sales of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, securities fraud, pyramid or ponzi schemes, or the facilitation of other illegal or improper activity. The use of our payment system for illegal or improper uses has subjected us, and may subject us in the future, to claims, individual and class action lawsuits, and government and regulatory requests, inquiries, or investigations that could result in liability and harm our reputation. Moreover, certain activity that may be legal in one jurisdiction may be illegal in another jurisdiction, and a merchant may be found responsible for intentionally or inadvertently importing or exporting illegal goods, resulting in liability for us. Owners of intellectual property rights or government authorities may seek to bring legal action against providers of payments solutions, including PayPal, that are peripherally involved in the sale of infringing or allegedly infringing items. Any threatened or resulting claims could result in reputational harm, and any resulting liabilities, loss of transaction volume, or increased costs could harm our business.
Acquisitions, strategic investments, and other strategic transactions could result in operating difficulties and could harm our business.
We expect to continue to consider and evaluate a wide array of potential strategic transactions as part of our overall business strategy, including, but not limited to, business combinations, acquisitions, and dispositions of certain businesses, technologies, services, products, and other assets; strategic investments; and commercial and strategic partnerships (collectively, “strategic
transactions”). At any given time, we may be engaged in discussions or negotiations with respect to one or more strategic transactions, any of which could, individually or in the aggregate, be material to our financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in identifying, negotiating, and consummating favorable transaction opportunities. Strategic transactions may involve additional significant challenges, uncertainties, and risks, including, but not limited to, challenges of integrating new employees, systems, technologies, and business cultures; failure to develop the acquired business adequately; disruption of our ongoing operations and diversion of our management’s attention; inadequate data security, cybersecurity and operational and information technology resilience; failure to identify, or our underestimation of, commitments, liabilities, deficiencies and other risks associated with acquired businesses or assets; and potential exposure to new or increased regulatory oversight and uncertain or evolving legal, regulatory, and compliance requirements; potential reputational risks that could arise from transactions with, or investments in, companies involved in new or developing businesses or industries, which may be subject to uncertain or evolving legal, regulatory, and compliance requirements; failure of the transaction to advance our business strategy and of its anticipated benefits to materialize; potential impairment of goodwill or other acquisition-related intangible assets; and the potential for our acquisitions to result in dilutive issuances of our equity securities or significant additional debt. Strategic transactions may also heighten many of the risks described in this “Risk Factors” section. These transactions are inherently risky, may not be successful, and may harm our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
Strategic investments in which we have a minority ownership stake inherently involve a lesser degree of influence over business operations. In addition, we may be dependent on controlling shareholders, management, or other persons or entities who control them and who may have business interests, strategies, or goals that are inconsistent with ours. Business decisions or other actions or omissions of the controlling shareholders, management, or other persons or entities who control companies in which we invest may adversely affect the value of our investment, result in litigation or regulatory action against us, and otherwise damage our reputation and brand.
Our international operations subject us to increased risks, which could harm our business.
Our international operations generate approximately one-half of our net revenues. Our international operations, including any expansion in international markets, subject us to significant challenges, uncertainties, and risks, including, but not limited to: local regulatory, licensing, reporting, and legal obligations; costs and challenges associated with operating in markets in which we may have limited or no experience, including effectively localizing our products and services and adapting them to local preferences; difficulties in developing, staffing, and simultaneously managing a large number of varying foreign operations as a result of distance, language, and cultural differences and in light of varying laws, regulations, and customs; difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified company employees and maintaining our company culture; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; exchange control regulations; profit repatriation restrictions; potential tariffs, sanctions, fines, or other trade barriers or restrictions; import or export regulations; compliance with U.S. and foreign anti-corruption, anti-bribery, sanctions, anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws and regulations; the interpretation and application of laws of multiple jurisdictions; and national or regional political, economic, or social instability.
Our international operations also may heighten many of the other risks described in this “Risk Factors” section. Violations of the complex foreign and U.S. laws, rules and regulations that may apply to our international operations may result in fines, criminal actions, or sanctions against us, our officers, or our employees; prohibit or require us to change the way we conduct our business; and damage our reputation. Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to promote compliance with these laws, there can be no assurance that our employees, contractors, or agents will not violate our policies. These risks are inherent in our international operations, may increase our costs of doing business internationally, and could materially and adversely affect our business.
Brexit: The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Following the departure of the U.K. from the EU and the EEA on January 31, 2020 (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) and the expiration of a transition period on December 31, 2020, there continues to be uncertainty over the practical consequences of Brexit including the potential for Brexit to contribute to long-term instability in financial, stock and currency exchange markets, greater restrictions on the supply and availability of goods and services between the U.K. and EEA region, and a general deterioration in consumer sentiment and credit conditions leading to overall negative economic growth and increased risk of merchant default.
The consequences of Brexit have brought legal uncertainty and increased complexity for financial services firms, which could continue as national laws and regulations in the U.K. differ from EU laws and regulations and additional authorization requirements come into effect. These developments have led to additional regulatory costs and challenges for us, including:
•PayPal (Europe) operates in the U.K. within the scope of its passport permissions (as they stood at the end of the transition period) pursuant to the Temporary Permissions Regime pending the grant of new UK authorizations by the U.K. financial regulators. If we are unable to obtain the required authorizations before the expiry of the longstop dates set by the U.K. regulators under the Temporary Permissions Regime, our European operations could lose their ability to offer services into the U.K. market on a cross-border basis; and
•our European operations are required to comply with new legal and regulatory requirements in the U.K. that occasionally are in addition to, or inconsistent with, those of the EEA, in each case, leading to increased complexity and costs.
Global and regional economic conditions could harm our business.
Adverse global and regional economic conditions such as turmoil affecting the banking system or financial markets, including tightening in the credit markets, extreme volatility or distress in the financial markets (including the fixed income, credit, currency, equity, and commodity markets), higher unemployment, high consumer debt levels, reduced consumer confidence or economic activity, government fiscal and tax policies, U.S and international trade relationships, agreements, treaties, tariffs and restrictive actions, the inability of a government to enact a budget in a fiscal year, government shutdowns, government austerity programs, and other negative financial news or macroeconomic developments could have a material adverse impact on the demand for our products and services, including a reduction in the volume and size of transactions on our Payments Platform. Additionally, any inability to access the capital markets when needed due to volatility or illiquidity in the markets and increased regulatory liquidity and capital requirements may strain our liquidity position. Such conditions may also expose us to fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates or interest rates that could materially and adversely affect our financial results. See “Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Impact of Foreign Currency Exchange Rates and Liquidity and Capital Resources” and “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” for additional information on our financial risks.
If one or more of our counterparty financial institutions default on their financial or performance obligations to us or fail, we may incur significant losses.
We have significant amounts of cash, cash equivalents, receivables outstanding, and other investments on deposit or in accounts with banks or other financial institutions in the U.S. and international jurisdictions. As part of our currency hedging activities, we enter into transactions involving derivative financial instruments with various financial institutions. Certain banks and financial institutions are also lenders under our credit facilities. We regularly monitor our exposure to counterparty credit risk, and actively manage this exposure to mitigate the associated risk. Despite these efforts, we may be exposed to the risk of default by, or deteriorating operating results or financial condition or failure of, these counterparty financial institutions. If one of our counterparties were to become insolvent or file for bankruptcy, our ability to recover losses incurred as a result of default or to access or recover our assets that are deposited, held in accounts with, or otherwise due from, such counterparty may be limited by the counterparty’s liquidity or the applicable laws governing the insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings. In the event of default or failure of one or more of our counterparties, we could incur significant losses, which could negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.
There are risks associated with our indebtedness.
We have incurred indebtedness, and we may incur additional indebtedness in the future. Our ability to pay interest and repay the principal for our indebtedness is dependent upon our ability to manage our business operations and generate sufficient cash flows to service such debt. Our outstanding indebtedness and any additional indebtedness we incur may have significant consequences, including, without limitation: requiring us to use a significant portion of our cash flow from operations and other available cash to service our indebtedness, thereby reducing the funds available for other purposes, including capital expenditures, acquisitions, and strategic investments; reducing our flexibility in planning for or reacting to changes in our business, competition pressures and market conditions; and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, share repurchases, or other general corporate and other purposes.
Our revolving credit facilities and the indenture for our senior unsecured notes pursuant to which certain of our outstanding debt securities were issued contain financial and other covenants that restrict or could restrict, among other things, our business and operations. If we fail to pay amounts due under a debt instrument or breach any of its covenants, the lenders would typically have the right to demand immediate repayment of all borrowings thereunder (subject in certain cases to a grace or cure period). Moreover, any such acceleration and required repayment of, or default in respect of, our indebtedness could, in turn, constitute an event of default under other debt instruments, thereby resulting in the acceleration and required repayment of our indebtedness. Any of these events could materially adversely affect our liquidity and financial condition.
Changes by any rating agency to our outlook or credit rating could negatively affect the value of both our debt and equity securities and increase our borrowing costs. If our credit ratings are downgraded or other negative action is taken, the interest rates payable by us under our indebtedness may increase, and our ability to obtain additional financing in the future on favorable terms or at all could be adversely affected.
Changes in tax laws, exposure to unanticipated additional tax liabilities, or implementation of record-keeping obligations could have a material adverse effect on our business.
An increasing number of U.S. states, the U.S. federal government, and foreign jurisdictions, as well as international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the EU Commission, are focused on tax reform and other legislative or regulatory action to increase tax revenue. Various countries have proposed or enacted digital services taxes. These actions may materially affect our effective tax rate.
The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires estimation and significant judgment, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We are currently undergoing a number of investigations, audits, and reviews by tax authorities in multiple U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. Any adverse outcome of any such audit or review could result in unforeseen tax-related liabilities that differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements, which may, individually or in the aggregate, materially affect our financial results in the periods for which such determination is made. While we have established reserves based on assumptions and estimates that we believe are reasonable to cover such eventualities, these reserves may prove to be insufficient.
In addition, our future income taxes could be adversely affected by the incurrence of losses or earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions that have lower statutory tax rates, and earnings being higher than anticipated in jurisdictions that have higher statutory tax rates; by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, including as a result of gains on our foreign currency exchange risk management program; by changes in tax laws, regulations, or accounting principles; or by certain discrete items.
A number of U.S. states, the U.S. federal government, and foreign jurisdictions have implemented and may impose reporting or record-keeping obligations on companies that engage in or facilitate e-commerce to improve tax compliance. A number of jurisdictions are also reviewing whether payment service providers and other intermediaries could be deemed to be the legal agent of merchants for certain tax purposes. We have modified our systems to meet applicable requirements and expect that further modifications will be required to comply with future requirements, which may negatively impact our customer experience and increase operational costs. Any failure by us to comply with these and similar reporting and record-keeping obligations could result in substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions, adversely impact our ability to do business in certain jurisdictions, and harm our business.
If the distribution of our common stock in connection with our separation from eBay, together with certain related transactions, does not qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we and certain of our stockholders could be subject to significant tax liabilities.
On July 17, 2015, we became an independent publicly traded company through the pro rata distribution by eBay Inc. of 100% of our outstanding common stock to eBay’s stockholders (which we refer to as the “separation” or the “distribution”). eBay received an opinion from its outside legal counsel regarding the qualification of the distribution, together with certain related transactions, as a transaction that is generally tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes under Sections 368(a)(1)(D) and 355 of the Internal Revenue Code. Notwithstanding the opinion of counsel, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) could determine that the distribution, together with certain related transactions, should be treated as a taxable transaction if the IRS determines that any of these representations, assumptions, or undertakings upon which such opinion was based are incorrect or have been violated or if the IRS disagrees with the conclusions in the opinion of counsel. If the distribution, together with certain related transactions, failed to qualify as a transaction that is generally tax-free, eBay stockholders who received PayPal common stock in the distribution may be subject to tax as if they had received a taxable distribution equal to the fair market value of such shares, and we could incur significant liabilities.
There are risks associated with our relationship with eBay.
In connection with our separation from eBay, we entered into a separation and distribution agreement with eBay and various other agreements, including an operating agreement and agreements covering tax, employee, and intellectual property matters, data sharing, and product development. These agreements determined the allocation of assets and liabilities between the companies following the separation for those respective areas and associated indemnification obligations and established certain commercial relationships between eBay and us. If either we or eBay are unable to satisfy our performance, payment, or indemnification obligations under these agreements or other commercial agreements between the parties, we could incur operational difficulties or losses or be required to make substantial indemnification or other payments to eBay.
We expect the portion of our revenue and operating income attributable to eBay will continue to decline due to various factors, including the speed and extent to which eBay intermediates payments on its platform and migrates eBay merchants to eBay’s managed payments platform, limits the availability of PayPal as a payment option, offers or promotes alternative payment options, directs transactions on its platforms to different providers of payment services, or eliminates or modifies its risk management or customer protection programs on its platforms, which could result in customer dissatisfaction, reduction in eBay volume, and other consequences adverse to our business. If we are unable to generate sufficient business from our non-eBay customers to offset the expected reduction in the portion of our business attributable to eBay, the growth of our business and our ability to meet our long-term financial targets could be negatively impacted.
We may be unable to attract, retain, and develop the highly skilled employees we need to support our business.
Competition for key and other highly skilled personnel is intense, especially for executive talent, software engineers, and other technology talent. We may be limited in our ability to recruit or hire internationally, including due to restrictive laws or policies on immigration, travel, or availability of visas for skilled workers. The loss of the services of any of our key personnel, or our inability to attract, hire, train, and retain highly qualified personnel effectively, could harm our business and growth prospects.
We are subject to risks associated with information disseminated through our products and services.
We may be subject to claims relating to information disseminated through our online services, including claims alleging defamation, libel, harassment, hate speech, breach of contract, invasion of privacy, negligence, copyright or trademark infringement, or other theories based on the nature and content of the materials disseminated through the services, among other things. If the laws or regulations that provide protections for online dissemination of information are invalidated or are modified to reduce protections available to us and we become liable for information provided by our customers and carried on our products and services, we could be directly harmed and we may be forced to implement new measures to reduce our exposure, including expending substantial resources or discontinuing certain product or service offerings, which could harm our business.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
We own and lease various properties in the U.S. and other countries around the world. We use the properties for executive and administrative offices, data centers, product development offices, and customer services and operations centers. As of December 31, 2020, our owned and leased properties provided us with aggregate square footage as follows:
|United States||Other Countries||Total|
| ||(In millions)|
|Owned facilities||1.0 ||0.2 ||1.2 |
|Leased facilities||1.4 ||2.0 ||3.4 |
|Total facilities||2.4 ||2.2 ||4.6 |
We own a total of approximately 106 acres of land, with approximately 85 acres in the U.S. Our corporate headquarters are located in San Jose, California and occupy approximately 0.7 million of owned square feet.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
The information set forth under “Note 13—Commitments and Contingencies—Litigation and Regulatory Matters” to the consolidated financial statements included in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K is incorporated herein by reference.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
PayPal common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “PYPL.”
As of January 29, 2021, there were 3,926 holders of record of our common stock. The actual number of stockholders is significantly greater than this number of record holders, and includes stockholders who are beneficial owners but whose shares are held in street name by brokers and other nominees.
We have never paid any cash dividends and we currently do not anticipate paying any cash dividends in the foreseeable future.
STOCK REPURCHASE ACTIVITY
In July 2018, our Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program that provides for the repurchase of up to $10 billion of our common stock, with no expiration from the date of authorization. Our stock repurchase program is intended to offset the impact of dilution from our equity compensation programs and, subject to market conditions and other factors, may also be used to make opportunistic repurchases of our common stock to reduce outstanding share count. Any share repurchases under our stock repurchase program may be made through open market transactions, block trades, privately negotiated transactions including accelerated share repurchase agreements or other means at times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate, and will be funded from our working capital or other financing alternatives. Moreover, any stock repurchases are subject to market conditions and other uncertainties and we cannot predict if or when any stock repurchases will be made. We may terminate our stock repurchase program at any time without prior notice.
The stock repurchase activity under our stock repurchase program during the three months ended December 31, 2020 is summarized as follows:
|Total number of shares purchased|
paid per share(1)
|Total number of shares purchased as part of publicly announced plans or programs||Approximate dollar value of shares that may yet be purchased under the plans or programs|
|(In millions, except per share amounts)|
|Balance as of September 30, 2020||$||8,698 |
|October 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020||0.6 ||$||198.39 ||0.6 ||8,586 |
|November 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020||0.5 ||$||188.64 ||0.5 ||8,488 |
|December 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020||0.2 ||$||224.55 ||0.2 ||8,433 |
|Balance as of December 31, 2020||1.3 ||1.3 ||$||8,433 |
(1) Average price paid per share for open market purchases includes broker commissions.
ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following selected financial data reflect the consolidated operations of PayPal. PayPal derived the selected consolidated income statement data for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 as set forth below, from its audited consolidated financial statements, which are included in “Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”). PayPal derived the selected consolidated income statement data for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 and selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2018, 2017, and 2016 from audited consolidated financial statements not included in this Form 10-K. The historical results do not necessarily indicate the results expected for any future period. You should read the selected consolidated financial data presented below in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included in this report.
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
| ||(In millions, except per share amounts)|
|Consolidated Statement of Income Data:|
|Net revenues||$||21,454 ||$||17,772 ||$||15,451 ||$||13,094 ||$||10,842 |
|Operating income||3,289 ||2,719 ||2,194 ||2,127 ||1,586 |
|Net income||4,202 ||2,459 ||2,057 ||1,795 ||1,401 |
|Net income per share:|
|Basic||$||3.58 ||$||2.09 ||$||1.74 ||$||1.49 ||$||1.16 |
|Diluted||$||3.54 ||$||2.07 ||$||1.71 ||$||1.47 ||$||1.15 |
|Weighted average shares:|
|Basic||1,173 ||1,174 ||1,184 ||1,203 ||1,210 |
|Diluted||1,187 ||1,188 ||1,203 ||1,221 ||1,218 |
|Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:|
|Total assets||$||70,379 ||$||51,333 ||$||43,332 ||$||40,774 ||$||33,103 |
|Total long-term liabilities||11,869 ||7,485 ||2,042 ||1,917 ||1,513 |
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
This Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements that involve expectations, plans, or intentions (such as those relating to future business, future results of operations or financial condition, new or planned features or services, mergers or acquisitions, or management strategies). Additionally, our forward-looking statements include expectations related to anticipated impacts of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. These forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “may,” “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” and other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those expressed or implied in our forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, those discussed in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K, as well as in our consolidated financial statements, related notes, and the other information appearing in this report and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). We do not intend, and undertake no obligation except as required by law, to update any of our forward-looking statements after the date of this report to reflect actual results or future events or circumstances. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. You should read the following “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes that appear in this report. Unless otherwise expressly stated or the context otherwise requires, references to “we,” “our,” “us,” “the Company,” and “PayPal” refer to PayPal Holdings, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries.
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations focuses on discussion of 2020 results as compared to 2019 results. For discussion of 2019 results as compared to 2018 results, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” within our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the SEC on February 6, 2020.
We are a leading technology platform and digital payments company that enables digital and mobile payments on behalf of merchants and consumers worldwide. PayPal is committed to democratizing financial services to improve the financial health of individuals and to increase economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes around the world. Our goal is to enable our merchants and consumers to manage and move their money anywhere in the world, anytime, on any platform, and using any device when sending payments or getting paid. We also facilitate person-to-person (“P2P”) payments through our PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom products and services and simplify and personalize shopping experiences for our consumers through our Honey Platform. Our combined payment solutions, including our core PayPal, PayPal Credit, Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, iZettle, and Hyperwallet products and services, comprise our proprietary Payments Platform.
We operate globally and in a rapidly evolving regulatory environment characterized by a heightened focus by regulators globally on all aspects of the payments industry, including countering terrorist financing, anti-money laundering, privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection. The laws and regulations applicable to us, including those enacted prior to the advent of digital and mobile payments, are continuing to evolve through legislative and regulatory action and judicial interpretation. New or changing laws and regulations, including the changes to their interpretation and implementation, as well as increased penalties and enforcement actions related to non-compliance, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. We monitor these areas closely and are focused on designing compliant solutions for our customers.
Information security risks for global payments and technology companies like us have increased significantly in recent years. Although we have developed systems and processes designed to protect the data we manage, prevent data loss and other security incidents, and effectively respond to known and potential risks, and expect to continue to expend significant resources to bolster these protections, we remain subject to these risks and there can be no assurance that our security measures will provide sufficient security or prevent breaches or attacks. For additional information regarding our information security risks, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Cyberattacks and security vulnerabilities could result in serious harm to our reputation, business, and financial condition.”
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) as a pandemic. The outbreak has resulted in government authorities and businesses throughout the world implementing numerous measures intended to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19, including travel restrictions, border closures, quarantines, shelter-in-place and lock-down orders, mask and social distancing requirements, and business limitations and shutdowns. These measures have negatively impacted consumer and business spending and payments activity generally, and have significantly contributed to deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and higher unemployment in some countries, including those in which we have significant operations. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us to make significant modifications to our business practices, including enabling most of our workforce to work from home, establishing strict health and safety protocols for our offices, restricting physical participation in meetings, events, and conferences, and imposing restrictions on employee travel. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and may take further actions that may alter our business practices as may be required by federal, state, or local authorities or that we determine are in the best interests of our employees, customers, or business partners.
While the current macroeconomic environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted general consumer and merchant spending with a more pronounced impact on travel and events verticals, the spread of COVID-19 has also accelerated the shift from in-store shopping and traditional in-store payment methods (e.g. cash) towards e-commerce and digital payments and resulted in increased customer demand for safer payment and delivery solutions (e.g. contactless payment methods, buy online and pick up in store) and a significant increase in online spending in certain verticals that have historically had a strong in-store presence. On balance, our business has benefited from these behavioral shifts, including a significant increase in net new active accounts and payments volume. To the extent that consumer preferences revert to pre-COVID-19 behaviors as mitigation measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 are lifted or relaxed, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
The rapidly changing global market and economic conditions as a result of COVID-19 have impacted, and are expected to continue to impact, our operations and business. The broader implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, financial condition, and results of operations remain uncertain. For additional information on how COVID-19 has impacted and could continue to negatively impact our business, see below for specific discussion in the respective areas, and also refer to “Part I, Item 1A, Risk Factors” in this Form 10-K.
The United Kingdom (“U.K.”) formally exited the European Union (“EU”) and the European Economic Area (“EEA”) on January 31, 2020 (commonly referred to as “Brexit”) with the expiration of a transition period on December 31, 2020. PayPal (Europe) S.à.r.l. et Cie, SCA (“PayPal (Europe)”) operates in the U.K. within the scope of its passport permissions (as they stood at the end of the transition period) under the Temporary Permissions Regime pending the grant of new U.K. authorizations by the U.K. financial regulators. We are currently unable to determine the longer-term impact that Brexit will have on our business, which will depend, in part, on the implications of new tariff, trade and regulatory frameworks that now govern the provision of cross-border goods and services between the U.K. and the EEA, as well as the financial and operational consequences of the requirement for PayPal (Europe) to obtain new U.K. authorizations to operate its business longer-term within the U.K. market. For additional information on how Brexit could affect our business, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Brexit: The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU could harm our business, financial condition, and results of operations.”
Brexit may contribute to instability in financial, stock, and foreign currency exchange markets, including volatility in the value of the British Pound and Euro. We have foreign currency exchange exposure management programs designed to help reduce the impact from foreign currency exchange rate movements. In 2020, 2019, and 2018, net revenues generated from our U.K. operations constituted 11% of total net revenues. In 2020, 2019, and 2018, net revenues generated from the EU (excluding the U.K.) constituted less than 20% of total net revenues. Approximately 50% and 37% of our gross loans and interest receivables as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, were due from customers in the U.K. Approximately 14% and 6% of our gross loans and interest receivables as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, were due from customers in the EU (excluding the U.K.). The increase in the percentage of gross loans and interest receivable outstanding in the U.K. and EU as of December 31, 2020 as compared to 2019 was driven by an increase in the balances in those regions as we continue to originate consumer loans in our international markets, combined with a decline in our gross total loans and interest receivable outstanding due to minimal originations in our merchant credit portfolio as compared to 2019.
OVERVIEW OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The following table provides a summary of our consolidated financial results for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018:
| ||Year Ended December 31,||Percent Increase/(Decrease)|
| ||(In millions, except percentages and per share amounts)|
|Net revenues||$||21,454 ||$||17,772 ||$||15,451 ||21 ||%||15 ||%|
|Operating expenses||18,165 ||15,053 ||13,257 ||21 ||%||14 ||%|
|Operating income||3,289 ||2,719 ||2,194 ||21 ||%||24 ||%|
|Operating margin||15 ||%||15 ||%||14 ||%||**||**|
|Other income (expense), net||1,776 ||279 ||182 ||537 ||%||53 ||%|
|Income tax expense||863 ||539 ||319 ||60 ||%||69 ||%|
|Effective tax rate||17 ||%||18 ||%||13 ||%||**||**|
|Net income||$||4,202 ||$||2,459 ||$||2,057 ||71 ||%||20 ||%|
|Net income per diluted share||$||3.54 ||$||2.07 ||$||1.71 ||71 ||%||21 ||%|
Net cash provided by operating activities(1)
|$||5,854 ||$||4,071 ||$||5,480 ||44 ||%||(26)||%|
All amounts in tables are rounded to the nearest million, except as otherwise noted. As a result, certain amounts may not recalculate using the rounded amounts provided.
** Not Meaningful
(1) Prior period amounts have been revised to conform to the current period presentation. Refer to “Note 1—Overview and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K for additional information.
Net revenues increased $3.7 billion, or 21%, in 2020 as compared to 2019 driven primarily by growth in total payment volume (“TPV”, as defined below under “Net Revenues”) of 31%. Our acquisition of Honey Science Corporation (“Honey”) contributed approximately one percentage point to the growth rate in 2020.
Total operating expenses increased $3.1 billion, or 21%, in 2020 as compared to 2019 due primarily to an increase in transaction expense, and to a lesser extent, increases in technology and development expenses, sales and marketing expenses, transaction and credit losses, and general and administrative expenses. Our acquisitions of Honey and a 70% equity interest in Guofubao Information Technology Co. (GoPay), Ltd. (“GoPay”) collectively contributed approximately five percentage points to the growth rate in total operating expenses in 2020.
Operating income increased $570 million, or 21%, in 2020 as compared to 2019 due to growth in net revenues, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses. Our operating margin was 15% in both 2020 and 2019. Our acquisitions of Honey and GoPay collectively had a negative impact of approximately three percentage points to our operating margin, which was offset by operating efficiencies.
Net income increased by $1.7 billion, or 71%, in 2020 as compared to 2019 due to the previously discussed increase in operating income of $570 million and an increase in other income (expense), net of $1.5 billion, driven primarily by net gains on strategic investments, partially offset by an increase in income tax expense of $324 million, driven primarily by tax expense related to gains on strategic investments.
IMPACT OF FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES
We have significant international operations that are denominated in foreign currencies, primarily the British Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar, and Canadian Dollar, subjecting us to foreign currency exchange risk which may adversely impact our financial results. The strengthening or weakening of the U.S. dollar versus the British Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar, and Canadian Dollar, as well as other currencies in which we conduct our international operations, impacts the translation of our net revenues and expenses generated in these foreign currencies into the U.S. dollar. In 2020, 2019, and 2018, we generated approximately 49%, 47%, and 46% of our net revenues from customers domiciled outside of the United States, respectively. Because we generate substantial net revenues internationally, we are subject to the risks of doing business outside of the U.S., including those discussed under “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
We calculate the year-over-year impact of foreign currency exchange movements on our business using prior period foreign currency exchange rates applied to current period transactional currency amounts. While changes in foreign currency exchange rates affect our reported results, we have a foreign currency exchange exposure management program in which we designate certain foreign currency exchange contracts as cash flow hedges intended to reduce the impact on earnings from foreign currency exchange rate movements. Gains and losses from these foreign currency exchange contracts are recognized as a component of transaction revenues in the same period the forecasted transactions impact earnings.
In the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, the year-over-year foreign currency movements relative to the U.S. dollar had the following impact on our reported results:
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Favorable (unfavorable) impact to net revenues (exclusive of hedging impact)||$||66 ||$||(316)|
|Hedging impact||20 ||238 |
|Favorable (unfavorable) impact to net revenues ||86 ||(78)|
|Favorable impact to operating expense||4 ||158 |
|Net favorable impact to operating income||$||90 ||$||80 |
While we enter into foreign currency exchange contracts to help reduce the impact on earnings from foreign currency exchange rate movements, it is impossible to predict or eliminate the total effects of this exposure.
We also used a foreign currency exchange contract, designated as a net investment hedge, to reduce the foreign currency exchange risk related to our investment in a foreign subsidiary. Gains and losses associated with this instrument will remain in accumulated other comprehensive income until the foreign subsidiary is sold or substantially liquidated.
Additionally, in connection with our services that are paid for in multiple currencies, we generally set our foreign currency exchange rates daily and may face financial exposure if we incorrectly set our foreign currency exchange rates or as a result of fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates between the times that we set our foreign currency exchange rates. Given that we also have foreign currency exchange risk on our assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the functional currency of our subsidiaries, we have an additional foreign currency exchange exposure management program in which we use foreign currency exchange contracts to offset the impact of foreign currency exchange rate movements on our assets and liabilities. The foreign currency exchange gains and losses on our assets and liabilities are recorded in other income (expense), net, and are offset by the gains and losses on the foreign currency exchange contracts. These foreign currency exchange contracts reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the impact of foreign currency exchange rate movements on our assets and liabilities.
Our revenues are classified into the following two categories:
•Transaction revenues: Net fees charged to merchants and consumers on a transaction basis primarily based on the TPV completed on our Payments Platform. Growth in TPV is directly impacted by the number of payment transactions that we enable on our Payments Platform. We earn additional fees on transactions where we perform currency conversion, when we enable cross-border transactions (i.e., transactions where the merchant and consumer are in different countries), to facilitate the instant transfer of funds for our customers from their PayPal or Venmo account to their debit card or bank account, and other miscellaneous fees.
•Revenues from other value added services: Net revenues derived primarily from revenue earned through partnerships, referral fees, subscription fees, gateway fees, and other services we provide to our merchants and consumers. We also earn revenues from interest and fees earned primarily on our portfolio of loans receivable, and interest earned on certain assets underlying customer balances.
Our revenues can be significantly impacted by the following:
•The mix of merchants, products, and services;
•The mix between domestic and cross-border transactions;
•The geographic region or country in which a transaction occurs; and
•The amount of our loans receivable outstanding with merchants and consumers.
Active accounts, number of payment transactions, number of payment transactions per active account, and TPV are key non-financial performance metrics (“key metrics”) that management uses to measure the performance of our business, and are defined as follows:
•An active account is an account registered directly with PayPal or a platform access partner that has completed a transaction on our Payments Platform or through our Honey Platform, not including gateway-exclusive transactions, within the past 12 months. A platform access partner is a third party whose customers are provided access to PayPal’s Payments Platform through such third party’s login credentials. The number of active accounts provides management with additional perspective on the growth of accounts across our Payments and Honey Platforms as well as the overall scale of our platforms.
•Number of payment transactions are the total number of payments, net of payment reversals, successfully completed on our Payments Platform or enabled by PayPal via a partner payment solution, not including gateway-exclusive transactions.
•Number of payment transactions per active account reflects the total number of payment transactions within the previous 12-month period, divided by active accounts at the end of the period. The number of payment transactions per active account provides management with insight into the number of times a customer is engaged in payments activity on our Payments Platform in a given period.
•TPV is the value of payments, net of payment reversals, successfully completed on our Payments Platform, or enabled by PayPal via a partner payment solution, not including gateway-exclusive transactions.
As our transaction revenue is typically correlated with TPV growth and the number of payment transactions completed on our Payments Platform, management uses these metrics to gain insights into the scale and strength of our Payments Platform, the engagement level of our customers, and underlying activity and trends which are indicators of current and future performance. We present these key metrics to enhance investors’ evaluation of the performance of our business and operating results.
Net Revenue Analysis
The components of our net revenue for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 were as follows (in millions):
Transaction revenues increased by $3.8 billion, or 24%, in 2020 compared to 2019 and were mainly attributable to our core PayPal products and services due primarily to strong growth in TPV and the number of payment transactions, both of which resulted primarily from an increase in our active accounts, and to a lesser extent, an increase in revenue from currency conversion fees.
The current macroeconomic environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted general consumer and merchant spending with a more pronounced impact on travel and events verticals. However, we have experienced strong growth in online retail, gaming, and food volume, offsetting this decline.
The graphs below present the respective key metrics (in millions) for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018:
*Reflects active accounts at the end of the applicable period. Active accounts as of December 31, 2020 includes 10.2 million active accounts contributed by Honey on the date of acquisition in January 2020.
The following table provides a summary of related metrics:
| ||Year Ended December 31,||Percent Increase/|
|Payment transactions per active account||40.9 ||40.6 ||36.9 ||1 ||%||10 ||%|
|Percent of cross-border TPV||17 ||%||18 ||%||19 ||%||** ||** |
** Not meaningful
Transaction revenues grew more slowly than TPV, which grew 31%, and the number of payment transactions, which grew 25%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to a higher proportion of P2P transactions (primarily from our Venmo products) from which we earn lower fees, a decline in hedging gains, and a higher portion of TPV generated by platform partners and large merchants who generally pay lower rates with higher transaction volumes. Changes in prices charged to our customers did not significantly impact transaction revenue growth in 2020.
Revenues from other value added services
Revenues from other value added services decreased by $137 million, or 8%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to a decline in interest earned on certain assets underlying customer account balances resulting from lower interest rates and a decrease in interest and fee income on our loans and advances receivable due to an increase in the allowance for expected credit losses against interest and fees receivable, a decline in originations, and payment holidays that we provided during the year to our customers as a part of our COVID-19 payment relief initiatives. Additionally, the decline in revenues from other value added services was driven by a decline in revenue earned from transition servicing activities provided to Synchrony Bank (“Synchrony”), which ended in the second quarter of 2019. This decline was partially offset by incremental revenues from our acquisition of Honey, which contributed approximately 15 percentage points to the revenue growth rate for other value added services in 2020, and an increase in our revenue share earned from Synchrony.
The total gross consumer and merchant loans receivable balance as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 was $3.6 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively. The year-over-year decrease of 15% in 2020 compared to 2019 was driven by a decline in our merchant receivable portfolio due to reduced originations, partially offset by growth in our consumer receivable portfolio.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken both proactive and reactive measures to support our merchants and consumers that have loans and interest receivables due to us under our credit product offerings. These measures were intended to reduce financial difficulties experienced by our customers and included providing payment holidays to grant payment deferrals to certain borrowers for varying periods of time, and amended payment terms through loan modifications in certain cases. These measures have adversely impacted and are expected to continue to adversely impact the recognition of interest and fee income in future periods. Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including its duration and severity and the ultimate impact it may have on the financial condition of our merchants and consumers, the extent of these types of actions and their prospective impact on our interest and fee income is not determinable. In addition, consumers that have outstanding loans and interest receivable due to Synchrony may experience similar hardships that result in increased losses recognized by Synchrony, which may result in a decrease in our revenue share earned from Synchrony in future periods. In the event the overall return on the PayPal branded credit programs funded by Synchrony does not meet a minimum rate of return (“minimum return threshold”) in a particular quarter, our revenue share for that period would be zero. Further, in the event the overall return on the PayPal branded credit programs managed by Synchrony does not meet the minimum return threshold as measured over four consecutive quarters and in the following quarter, we would be required to make a payment to Synchrony, subject to certain limitations. Through December 31, 2020, the overall return on the PayPal branded credit programs funded by Synchrony exceeded the minimum return threshold.
The following table summarizes our operating expenses and related metrics we use to assess the trends in each:
| ||Year Ended December 31,||Percent Increase/|
| ||(In millions, except percentages)|
|Transaction expense||$||7,934 ||$||6,790 ||$||5,581 ||17 ||%||22 ||%|
|Transaction and credit losses||1,741 ||1,380 ||1,274 ||26 ||%||8 ||%|
|Customer support and operations||1,778 ||1,615 ||1,407 ||10 ||%||15 ||%|
|Sales and marketing||1,861 ||1,401 ||1,314 ||33 ||%||7 ||%|
|Technology and development||2,642 ||2,085 ||1,831 ||27 ||%||14 ||%|
|General and administrative||2,070 ||1,711 ||1,541 ||21 ||%||11 ||%|
|Restructuring and other charges||139 ||71 ||309 ||96 ||%||(77)||%|
|Total operating expenses||$||18,165 ||$||15,053 ||$||13,257 ||21 ||%||14 ||%|
Transaction expense rate(1)
|0.85 ||%||0.95 ||%||0.96 ||%||**||**|
Transaction and credit loss rate(2)
|0.19 ||%||0.19 ||%||0.22 ||%||**||**|
(1) Transaction expense rate is calculated by dividing transaction expense by TPV.
(2) Transaction and credit loss rate is calculated by dividing transaction and credit losses by TPV.
** Not meaningful.
Transaction expense is primarily composed of the costs we incur to accept a customer’s funding source of payment. These costs include fees paid to payment processors and other financial institutions to draw funds from a customer’s credit or debit card, bank account, or other funding source they have stored in their digital wallet. Transaction expense also includes fees paid to disbursement partners to enable a transaction. We refer to the allocation of funding sources used by our consumers as our “funding mix.” The cost of funding a transaction with a credit or debit card is generally higher than the cost of funding a transaction from a bank or through internal sources such as a PayPal or Venmo account balance or PayPal Credit. As we expand the availability and presentation of alternative funding sources to our customers, our funding mix may change, which could increase or decrease our transaction expense rate. The cost of funding a transaction is also impacted by the geographic region or country in which a transaction occurs because we generally pay lower rates for transactions funded with credit cards outside the U.S. than in the U.S. Our transaction expense rate is impacted by changes in product mix, merchant mix, regional mix, funding mix, and assessments charged by payment processors and other financial institutions when we draw funds from a customer’s credit or debit card, bank account, or other funding sources. Macroeconomic environment changes may also result in behavioral shifts in consumer spending patterns affecting the type of funding source they use, which also impacts the funding mix.
Transaction expense increased by $1.1 billion, or 17%, in 2020 compared to 2019 and was primarily attributable to an increase in TPV of 31%. The decrease in transaction expense rate in 2020 compared to 2019 was due primarily to favorable changes in product mix and funding mix. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, approximately 2% of TPV was funded with PayPal Credit. For the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, approximately 40%, 41%, and 43% of TPV, respectively, was generated outside of the U.S.
Transaction and credit losses
Transaction losses include the expense associated with our buyer and seller protection programs, fraud, and chargebacks. Credit losses include the losses associated with our merchant and consumer loans receivable portfolio. Beginning in 2020, these losses are based on current expected credit losses. Our transaction and credit losses fluctuate depending on many factors, including TPV, current and projected macroeconomic conditions including unemployment rates, merchant insolvency events, changes to and usage of our customer protection programs, the impact of regulatory changes, and the credit quality of loans receivable arising from transactions funded with our credit products for consumers and loans and advances to merchants.
The components of our transaction and credit losses (in millions) for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 were as follows:
Transaction and credit losses increased by $361 million, or 26%, in 2020 compared to 2019.
Transaction loss rate (transaction losses divided by TPV) was 0.12%, 0.15%, and 0.18% for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
Transaction losses increased by $43 million, or 4%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due to growth in TPV, partially offset by benefits realized through improvements in risk management capabilities, which also contributed to a decrease in our transaction loss rate over the same period. The duration and severity of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unknown. The negative impact on macroeconomic conditions could increase the risk of merchant bankruptcy, insolvency, business failure, or other business interruption, which may adversely impact our transaction losses, particularly for merchants that sell goods or services in advance of the date of their delivery or use.
Credit losses increased by $318 million, or 110%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to an increase in provisions for our loans and interest receivable associated with changes in current and projected macroeconomic conditions, including qualitative adjustments to account for the impact of limitations in our expected credit loss models that have arisen due to the extreme fluctuations in both the actual and projected macroeconomic conditions during the period as well as to incorporate varying degrees of merchant performance in the current environment and expected performance in future periods. Our estimate of the macroeconomic impact on current expected credit losses is most significantly impacted by projected unemployment trends and benchmark credit card charge-off rates, which directly correlate to the forecast of loans and interest receivables that we expect to charge off in the future. Credit losses for the year ended December 31, 2020 include the impact of the increase in actual unemployment rates and credit card charge-off rates during the current period and expectations of a prolonged economic recovery period over which the value of loans and interest receivable that charge-off are projected to exceed historical trends. If the actual unemployment and charge-offs vary from these projections as of December 31, 2020, the credit losses recognized in future periods will be impacted.
The consumer loans and interest receivables balance as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 was $2.2 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively. The year-over-year increase of 64% in 2020 compared to 2019 was due to growth of PayPal Credit in international markets and, to a lesser extent, growth of our installment credit products in the U.S. and international markets. Approximately 77% and 94% of our consumer loans receivables outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, were due from consumers in the U.K.
The following table provides information regarding the credit quality of our consumer loans and interest receivable balance:
Percent of consumer loans and interest receivables current (1),(2)
|97.9 ||%||96.7 ||%|
Percent of consumer loans and interest receivables > 90 days outstanding (1), (2), (3)
|0.9 ||%||1.5 ||%|
Net charge off rate(4)
|2.4 ||%||4.1 ||%|
(1) Prior period revised to conform to the current period presentation.
(2) Includes the impact of payment holidays provided by the Company as a part of our COVID-19 payment relief initiatives.
(3) Represents percentage of balances which are 90 days past the billing date to the consumer.
(4) Net charge off rate is the annual ratio of net credit losses, excluding fraud losses, on consumer loans receivables as a percentage of the average daily amount of consumer loans and interest receivables balance during the period.
The decrease in the net charge off rate for consumer receivables at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 was primarily attributable to the continued expansion and maturity of our international consumer loan receivable portfolio and was in-part favorably impacted in the current year by payment holidays provided by the Company as a part of our COVID-19 payment relief initiatives.
We offer access to credit products for certain small and medium-sized merchants, which we refer to as our merchant lending offerings. Total merchant loans, advances, and interest and fees receivable outstanding, net of participation interest sold, as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 were $1.4 billion and $2.8 billion, respectively. The year-over-year decrease of 51% in 2020 compared to 2019 was due primarily to a reduction in originations due to modifications in our acceptable risk parameters as well as a shift towards merchants borrowing through the U.S. Government’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and enacted in March 2020 under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not own the receivables associated with loans originated through the PPP. Approximately 81% and 10% of our merchant receivables outstanding as of December 31, 2020 were due from merchants in the U.S. and U.K., as compared to 83% and 10% as of December 31, 2019, respectively.
The following table provides information regarding the credit quality of our merchant loans, advances, and interest and fees receivable balance:
|Percent of merchant receivables within original expected or contractual repayment period||75.4 ||%||89.6 ||%|
Percent of merchant receivables > 90 days outstanding after the end of original expected or contractual repayment period (1)
|12.5 ||%||4.2 ||%|
Net charge off rate (2)
|18.9 ||%||7.4 ||%|
(1) Includes the impact of payment holidays and modification programs provided by the Company as a part of our COVID-19 payment relief initiatives.
(2) Net charge off rate is the annual ratio of net credit losses, excluding fraud losses, on merchant loans and advances as a percentage of the average daily amount of merchant loans, advances, and interest and fees balance during the period.
The decline in the percent of merchant receivables within the original expected or contractual repayment period, increase in percent of merchant receivables greater than 90 days outstanding, and increase in the net charge off rate for merchant receivables at December 31, 2020 as compared to December 31, 2019 was primarily due to an increase in payment delinquency driven by financial difficulties experienced by our merchants associated with the economic impact of COVID-19 and a significant decline in our outstanding merchant receivables balance due to repayments and reduced originations, which increases net charge offs and delinquency rates presented as a percentage of our outstanding loan balance. Beginning in the third quarter of 2020, we have granted certain merchants loan modifications intended to provide them with financial relief and to help enable us to mitigate losses. The associated loans and interest receivables have been treated as troubled debt restructurings due to significant changes in their structure, including repayment terms and fee/rate structure. For additional information, see “Note 11—Loans and Interest Receivable” in the notes to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
During the year ended December 31, 2020, modifications to the acceptable risk parameters of our credit products in response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the implementation of a number of risk mitigation strategies, including reduction of maximum loan size, tightening eligibility terms, and a shift from automated to manual underwriting of loans and advances. These changes in acceptable risk parameters have resulted in a deceleration in the growth of our borrowing base and a decrease in merchant receivables as of December 31, 2020, as compared to 2019. While the impact of COVID-19 on the economic environment remains uncertain, the longer and more severe the pandemic, the more likely it is to have a material adverse impact on our borrowing base, which is primarily comprised of small and medium-sized merchants. For additional information, see “Note 11—Loans and Interest Receivable” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements, and “Item 1A. Risk Factors—Our credit products expose us to additional risks.” included in this Form 10-K.
Customer support and operations
Customer support and operations includes (a) costs incurred in our global customer operations centers, including costs to provide call support to our customers, (b) costs to support our trust and security programs protecting our merchants and consumers, and (c) other costs incurred related to the delivery of our products, including payment devices, card production, and customer onboarding and compliance costs.
Customer support and operations costs increased $163 million, or 10%, in 2020 compared to 2019. The increase in 2020 was primarily attributable to an increase in employee-related expenses and contractors and consulting costs mainly in our operations function that support the growth of our active accounts and payment transactions, as well as customer onboarding and compliance costs.
Sales and marketing
Sales and marketing includes costs incurred for customer acquisition, business development, advertising, and marketing programs.
Sales and marketing expenses increased $460 million, or 33%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to higher spend on marketing programs and employee-related expenses. Our acquisitions of Honey and GoPay collectively contributed approximately 20 percentage points to the growth rate of sales and marketing expenses in 2020.
Technology and development
Technology and development includes (a) costs incurred in connection with the development of our Payments Platform, new products, and the improvement of our existing products, including the amortization of software and website development costs incurred in developing our Payments Platform, which are capitalized, and acquired developed technology, and (b) our site operations and other infrastructure costs incurred to support our Payments Platform.
Technology and development expenses increased $557 million, or 27%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to increases in employee-related expenses, amortization of acquired intangibles, data center and cloud computing services utilized in delivering our products, and costs related to contractors and consultants. Our acquisitions of Honey and GoPay collectively contributed approximately 15 percentage points to the growth rate of technology and development expenses in 2020.
General and administrative
General and administrative includes costs incurred to provide support to our business, including legal, human resources, finance, risk, compliance, executive, and other support operations.
General and administrative expenses increased $359 million, or 21%, in 2020 compared to 2019 due primarily to increases in employee-related expenses, professional services expenses, including those attributable to acquisition related transaction expenses, and amortization of acquired intangibles and internally developed software used in our general and administrative functions. Our acquisitions of Honey and GoPay collectively contributed approximately 13 percentage points to the growth rate of general and administrative expenses in 2020.
Restructuring and other charges
Restructuring and other charges primarily consist of restructuring expenses and, in 2018, cost adjustments related to our loans and receivables, held for sale portfolio.
Restructuring and other charges increased by $68 million in 2020 compared to 2019.
During the first quarter of 2020, management approved a strategic reduction of the existing global workforce, which resulted in restructuring charges of $109 million. The approved strategic reduction in 2020 is part of a multiphase process to reorganize our workforce concurrently with the redesign of our operating structure, which spanned multiple quarters. We primarily incurred employee severance and benefits costs, as well as other associated consulting costs under the 2020 strategic reduction. We have experienced delays, primarily as a result of COVID-19, in the execution of these restructuring actions, which are now expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
Additionally, in 2020, we incurred asset impairment charges of $30 million due to the write-off of certain right-of-use lease assets and related leasehold improvements in conjunction with exiting certain leased properties.
In the first quarter of 2019, management approved strategic reductions of the existing global workforce, which resulted in restructuring charges of $78 million. The approved strategic reductions for 2019 were intended to better align our teams to support key business priorities and included the transfer of certain operational functions between geographies, as well as the impact of the transition of servicing activities provided to Synchrony, which ended in the second quarter of 2019. We primarily incurred employee and severance benefits expenses under the 2019 strategic reductions, which were substantially completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
For information on the associated restructuring liability, see “Note 17—Restructuring and Other Charges” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
Other income (expense), net
Other income (expense), net increased $1.5 billion, or 537%, in 2020 compared to 2019 primarily driven by net gains on strategic investments of $1.7 billion due primarily to favorable changes in fair value related to our marketable equity securities. This increase was partially offset by a decline in interest income driven by lower interest rates as well as incremental interest expense associated with our fixed rate notes issued in the third quarter of 2019 and second quarter of 2020.
Income tax expense
Our effective tax rate was 17% in 2020 and 18% in 2019. The decrease in our effective tax rate in 2020 was primarily the result of favorable discrete tax adjustments, partially offset by taxes associated with gains on strategic investments. See “Note 16—Income Taxes” to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K for more information on our effective tax rate.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
We require liquidity and access to capital to fund our global operations, including customer protection programs, our credit products, capital expenditures, investments in our business, potential acquisitions and strategic investments, working capital, and other cash needs. The following table summarizes our cash, cash equivalents, and investments as of December 31, 2020 and 2019:
|Year Ended December 31,|
Cash, cash equivalents, and investments(1)(2)
|$||15,852 ||$||11,722 |
(1) Excludes assets related to funds receivable and customer accounts of $33.4 billion and $22.5 billion as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
(2) Excludes total restricted cash of $88 million and $64 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, and strategic investments of $3.2 billion and $1.8 billion as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Foreign Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Investments
Cash, cash equivalents, and investments held by our foreign subsidiaries were $7.0 billion at December 31, 2020 and $7.2 billion at December 31, 2019, or 44% and 61% of our total cash, cash equivalents, and investments as of those respective dates. At December 31, 2020, all of our cash, cash equivalents, and investments held by foreign subsidiaries were subject to U.S. taxation under Subpart F, Global Intangible Low Taxed Income (“GILTI”), or the one-time transition tax. Subsequent repatriations to the U.S. will not be taxable from a U.S. federal tax perspective, but may be subject to state or foreign withholding tax. A significant aspect of our global cash management activities involves meeting our customers’ requirements to access their cash while simultaneously meeting our regulatory financial ratio commitments in various jurisdictions. Our global cash balances are required not only to provide operational liquidity to our businesses, but also to support our global regulatory requirements across our regulated subsidiaries. As such, not all of our cash is available for general corporate purposes.
Available Credit and Debt
In May 2020 and September 2019, we issued fixed rate notes with varying maturity dates for an aggregate principal amount of $9.0 billion (collectively referred to as the “Notes”). Proceeds from the issuance of these Notes may be used for general corporate purposes, which may include funding the repayment or redemption of outstanding debt, share repurchases, ongoing operations, capital expenditures, and possible acquisitions of businesses, assets, or strategic investments. As of December 31, 2020, we had $9.0 billion in fixed rate debt outstanding with varying maturity dates.
In September 2019, we entered into a credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”) that provides for an unsecured $5.0 billion, five-year revolving credit facility that includes a $150 million letter of credit sub-facility and a $500 million swingline sub-facility, with available borrowings under the revolving credit facility reduced by the amount of any letters of credit and swingline borrowings outstanding from time to time. In March 2020, we drew down $3.0 billion under the Credit Agreement. In May 2020, we repaid the $3.0 billion using proceeds from the May 2020 debt issuance. As of December 31, 2020, no borrowings were outstanding under the Credit Agreement and as such, $5.0 billion of borrowing capacity was available for the purposes permitted by the Credit Agreement, subject to customary conditions to borrowing. Additionally, in September 2019, we entered into a 364-day credit agreement that provided for an unsecured $1.0 billion 364-day revolving credit facility, which terminated in September 2020.
We maintain an uncommitted credit facility with a borrowing capacity of approximately $30 million, where we can withdraw and utilize the funds at our discretion for general corporate purposes. As of December 31, 2020, the majority of the borrowing capacity under this credit facility was available, subject to customary conditions to borrowing.
For additional information, see “Note 12—Debt” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
We have a cash pooling arrangement with a financial institution for cash management purposes. The arrangement allows for cash withdrawals from the financial institution based upon our aggregate operating cash balances held within the financial institution (“Aggregate Cash Deposits”). The arrangement also allows us to withdraw amounts exceeding the Aggregate Cash Deposits up to an agreed-upon limit. The net balance of the withdrawals and the Aggregate Cash Deposits are used by the financial institution as a basis for calculating our net interest expense or income under the arrangement. As of December 31, 2020, we had a total of $3.9 billion in cash withdrawals offsetting our $3.9 billion in Aggregate Cash Deposits held within the financial institution under the cash pooling arrangement.
Liquidity for Loans Receivable
Growth in our portfolio of loan receivables increases our liquidity needs, and any inability to meet those liquidity needs could adversely affect our business. We continue to evaluate partnerships and third party sources of funding for our loans receivable portfolio. In June 2018, the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (the “CSSF”) agreed that PayPal’s management may designate up to 35% of European customer balances held in our Luxembourg banking subsidiary to be used for European and U.S. credit activities. As of December 31, 2020, the cumulative amount approved by management to be designated for credit activities aggregated to $2.0 billion and represented approximately 21% of European customer balances potentially available for our corporate use at that date as determined by applying financial regulations maintained by the CSSF. We may periodically seek to designate additional amounts of customer balances, if necessary, based on utilization of the approved funds and anticipated credit funding requirements. Our objective is to expand the availability of our credit products with capital from external sources, although there can be no assurance that we will be successful in achieving that goal. Under certain exceptional circumstances, corporate liquidity could be called upon to meet our obligations related to our European customer balances.
In April 2020, PayPal was approved to participate in the PPP administered by the SBA. The program was designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic and includes initial loan repayment deferrals and debt forgiveness provisions for eligible borrowers. Loans made under this program are funded by an independent chartered financial institution that we partner with, and the related receivables are not purchased by PayPal. We receive a fee for providing origination services and loan servicing for the loans and retain operational risk related to those activities.
As of December 31, 2020, we continue to be rated investment grade by Standard and Poor’s Financial Services, LLC, Fitch Ratings, Inc., and Moody’s Investors Services Inc. We expect that these credit rating agencies will continue to monitor our performance, including our capital structure and results of operations. Our goal is to be rated investment grade, but as circumstances change, there are factors that could result in our credit ratings being downgraded or put on a watch list for possible downgrading. If that were to occur, it could increase our borrowing rates, including the interest rate on borrowings under our credit agreement.
Risk of Loss
The risk of losses from our buyer and seller protection programs are specific to individual customers, merchants, and transactions, and may also be impacted by regional variations in, and changes or modifications to, the programs, including as a result of changes in regulatory requirements. For the periods presented in these consolidated financial statements included in this report, our transaction loss rates ranged between 0.12% and 0.18% of TPV. Historical loss rates may not be indicative of future results. The duration and severity of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unknown. Its negative impact on macroeconomic conditions could increase the risk of merchant bankruptcy, insolvency, business failure, or other business interruption, which may result in an adverse impact on our transaction losses, particularly for merchants that sell goods or services in advance of the date of their delivery or use.
Stock Repurchases and Acquisitions
During the year ended December 31, 2020, we repurchased approximately $1.6 billion of our common stock in the open market under our stock repurchase programs authorized in April 2017 and July 2018. The July 2018 stock repurchase program became effective during the first quarter of 2020 upon completion of the April 2017 stock repurchase program. As of December 31, 2020, a total of approximately $8.4 billion remained available for future repurchases of our common stock under our July 2018 stock repurchase program. For additional information, see “Note 14—Stock Repurchase Programs” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
In January 2020, we completed our acquisition of Honey for approximately $3.6 billion in cash and approximately $400 million in assumed restricted stock, restricted stock units, and options, subject to vesting conditions. We believe our acquisition of Honey will enhance our value proposition by allowing us to further simplify and personalize shopping experiences for consumers while driving conversion and increasing consumer engagement and sales for merchants. For additional information, see “Note 4—Business Combinations” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
In the second quarter of 2020, we announced our commitment to invest $530 million to support racial equality. The investments will include: charitable contributions, grants to small businesses, internal investments to support and strengthen diversity and inclusion initiatives, and an economic opportunity fund, which will include bolstering our relationships with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented minority communities, as well as investing directly into black- and minority-led startups and minority-focused investment funds.
Our liquidity, access to capital, and borrowing costs could be adversely impacted by declines in our credit rating, our financial performance, and global credit market conditions, as well as a broad range of other factors, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic discussed in this Form 10-K. In addition, our liquidity, access to capital, and borrowing costs could also be negatively impacted by the outcome of any of the legal or regulatory proceedings to which we are a party. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and “Note 13—Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K for additional discussion of these and other risks that our business faces.
We believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, and investments, cash expected to be generated from operations, and our expected access to capital markets, together with potential external funding through third party sources, will be sufficient to fund our operating activities, anticipated capital expenditures, and our credit products for the foreseeable future. Depending on market conditions, we may from time to time issue debt, including in private or public offerings, to fund our operating activities, finance acquisitions, make strategic investments, repurchase shares under our stock repurchase program, or reduce our cost of capital.
The following table summarizes our consolidated statements of cash flows:
| ||Year Ended December 31,|
| ||(In millions)|
|Net cash provided by (used in):|
|$||5,854 ||$||4,071 ||$||5,480 |
|12,492 ||4,187 ||(1,240)|
|Effect of exchange rates on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash||169 ||(6)||(113)|
|Net increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash||$||2,297 ||$||2,510 ||$||4,948 |
(1) Prior period amounts have been revised to conform to the current period presentation. Refer to “Note 1—Overview and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K for additional information.
Cash flows from operating activities includes net income adjusted for certain non-cash expenses, timing differences between expenses recognized for provision for transaction and credit losses and actual cash transaction losses incurred, and changes in other assets and liabilities. Significant non-cash expenses for the period include depreciation and amortization and stock-based compensation. The cash impact from actual transaction losses incurred during a period is reflected as a negative impact to changes in other assets and liabilities in cash from operating activities. The expenses recognized during the period for provision for credit losses are estimates of current expected credit losses on our merchant and consumer credit products. Actual charge-offs of receivables related to our merchants and consumer credit products have no impact on cash from operating activities.
We generated cash from operating activities of $5.9 billion in 2020 due primarily to operating income of $3.3 billion, as well as adjustments for non-cash expenses including: provision for transaction and credit losses of $1.7 billion, stock-based compensation of $1.4 billion, and depreciation and amortization of $1.2 billion. Net income was also adjusted for net gains on our strategic investments of $1.9 billion in 2020, and changes in other assets and liabilities primarily related to actual cash transaction losses incurred during the period of $1.1 billion and an increase in other assets of $498 million, partially offset by an increase in other liabilities of $1.0 billion.
We generated cash from operating activities of $4.1 billion in 2019 due primarily to operating income of $2.7 billion. During 2019, adjustments for non-cash expenses included provision for transaction and credit losses of $1.4 billion, stock-based compensation of $1.0 billion, and depreciation and amortization of $912 million, partially offset by adjustments related to deferred income taxes of $269 million and net unrealized gains on our strategic investments of $208 million. The cash generated from operating activities was negatively impacted by changes in other assets and liabilities primarily related to actual cash transaction losses incurred during the period of $1.1 billion, an increase in other assets of $566 million and accounts receivable of $120 million, partially offset by an increase in other liabilities of $722 million.
We generated cash from operating activities of $5.5 billion in 2018 due primarily to operating income of $2.2 billion and the positive impact of $1.4 billion of changes in loans and interest receivable, held for sale, net following the sale of our U.S. consumer credit receivables portfolio. During 2018, adjustments for non-cash expenses included provision for transaction and credit losses of $1.3 billion, stock-based compensation of $853 million, depreciation and amortization of $776 million, and cost basis adjustments to loans and interest receivable held for sale of $244 million. The cash generated from operating activities was also impacted by changes in other assets and liabilities, primarily related to actual cash transaction losses incurred during the period of $1.0 billion, partially offset by an increase in other liabilities of $428 million.
Cash paid for income taxes, net in 2020, 2019, and 2018 was $565 million, $665 million, and $328 million, respectively.
Cash flows from investing activities includes purchases, maturities and sales of investments, cash paid for acquisitions and strategic investments, purchases and sales of property and equipment, changes in principal loans receivable, and funds receivable.
The net cash used in investing activities of $16.2 billion in 2020 was due primarily to purchases of investments of $41.5 billion, acquisitions (net of cash acquired) of $3.6 billion, changes in funds receivable from customers of $1.6 billion, and purchases of property and equipment of $866 million. These cash outflows were partially offset by maturities and sales of investments of $30.9 billion, changes in principal loans receivable, net of $294 million, and proceeds from the sale of property and equipment of $120 million.
The net cash used in investing activities of $5.7 billion in 2019 was due primarily to purchases of investments of $27.9 billion, changes in principal loans receivable, net of $1.6 billion, purchases of property and equipment of $704 million, and changes in funds receivable from customers of $351 million. These cash outflows were partially offset by maturities and sales of investments of $24.9 billion.
We generated cash from investing activities of $821 million in 2018 due primarily to maturities and sales of investments of $21.9 billion, changes in principal loans receivable, net of $3.1 billion, and changes in funds receivable from customers of $1.1 billion. These cash inflows were offset by purchases of investments of $22.4 billion, acquisitions of $2.1 billion (net of cash and restricted cash acquired), and purchases of property and equipment of $823 million.
Cash flows from financing activities includes proceeds from issuance of common stock, purchases of treasury stock, tax withholdings related to net share settlements of equity awards, borrowings and repayments under financing arrangements, and funds payable and amounts due to customers.
We generated cash from financing activities of $12.5 billion in 2020 due primarily to changes in funds payable and amounts due to customers of $10.6 billion and $7.0 billion of cash proceeds from the issuance of long-term debt in the form of fixed rate notes, as well as proceeds from borrowings under our Credit Agreement. These cash inflows were partially offset by the repayment of outstanding borrowings under our Credit Agreement of $3.0 billion, the repurchase of $1.6 billion of our common stock under our stock repurchase program, and tax withholdings related to net share settlement of equity awards of $521 million.
We generated cash from financing activities of $4.2 billion in 2019 due primarily to $5.5 billion of cash proceeds from the issuance of long-term debt in the form of fixed rate notes as well as borrowings under a previous credit agreement, and changes in funds payable and amounts due to customers of $3.0 billion. These cash inflows were partially offset by repayment of borrowings under a previous credit agreement of $2.5 billion, the repurchase of $1.4 billion of our common stock under our stock repurchase programs, and tax withholdings related to net share settlement of equity awards of $504 million.
The net cash used in financing activities of $1.2 billion in 2018 was due primarily to the repurchase of $3.5 billion of our common stock under our stock repurchase programs, repayments of borrowing under financing arrangements of $1.1 billion, and tax withholdings related to net share settlement of equity awards of $419 million, partially offset by cash inflows from borrowings under financing arrangements of $2.1 billion and changes in funds payable and amounts due to customers of $1.6 billion.
Effect of Exchange Rates on Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Restricted Cash
Foreign currency exchange rates had a positive impact of $169 million, a negative impact of $6 million, and a negative impact of $113 million on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash during 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. The positive impact in 2020 was due to the weakening of the U.S. dollar against certain foreign currencies, primarily the Australian dollar. The negative impact in 2018 was due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against certain foreign currencies, primarily the Australian dollar and to a lesser extent, the Euro.
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, we had no off-balance sheet arrangements that have, or are reasonably likely to have, a current or future material effect on our consolidated financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, capital expenditures, or capital resources.
FUTURE LIQUIDITY AND OBLIGATIONS
As of December 31, 2020, approximately $3.0 billion of unused credit was available to PayPal Credit account holders compared to $3.1 billion of unused credit as of December 31, 2019. Substantially all of the PayPal Credit account holders with unused credit are in the U.K. While this amount represents the total unused credit available, we have not experienced, and do not anticipate, that all our PayPal Credit account holders will access their entire available credit at any given point in time. In addition, the individual lines of credit that make up this unused credit are subject to periodic review and termination based on, among other things, account usage and customer creditworthiness.
We have certain fixed contractual obligations and commitments that include future estimated payments for general operating purposes. Changes in our business needs, contractual cancellation provisions, fluctuating interest rates, and other factors may result in actual payments differing from the estimates. We cannot provide certainty regarding the timing and amounts of these payments. The following table summarizes our obligations as of December 31, 2020 that are expected to impact liquidity and cash flow in future periods. We believe we will be able to fund these obligations through our existing cash and investment portfolio and cash expected to be generated from operations.
|Transition Tax||Long-term Debt||Total|
|Payments Due During the Year Ending December 31,||(In millions)|
|2021||$||409 ||$||171 ||$||114 ||$||213 ||$||907 |
|2022||239 ||140 ||114 ||1,213 ||1,706 |
|2023||129 ||126 ||212 ||1,185 ||1,652 |
|2024||134 ||116 ||284 ||1,428 ||1,962 |
|2025||60 ||100 ||354 ||1,140 ||1,654 |
|Thereafter||52 ||277 ||— ||5,854 ||6,183 |
|$||1,023 ||$||930 ||$||1,078 ||$||11,033 ||$||14,064 |
The significant assumptions used in our determination of amounts presented in the above table are as follows:
•Purchase obligation amounts include minimum purchase commitments for advertising, capital expenditures (computer equipment, software applications, engineering development services, and construction contracts), data center and cloud computing services, and other goods and services entered into in the ordinary course of business.
•Operating lease amounts include minimum rental payments under our non-cancelable operating leases (including leases not yet commenced) primarily for office and data center facilities. The amounts presented are consistent with contractual terms and are not expected to differ significantly from actual results under our existing leases, unless a substantial change in our headcount needs requires us to expand our occupied space or exit an office facility early.
•Transition tax represents the one-time mandatory tax on previously deferred foreign earnings under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
•Long-term debt amounts represent the future principal and interest payments (based on contractual interest rates) on our fixed-rate debt. For more information, see “Note 12—Debt” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
As we are unable to reasonably predict the timing of settlement of liabilities related to unrecognized tax benefits, net, the table above does not include $1.4 billion of such non-current liabilities included in deferred and other tax liabilities recorded on our consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.
The Company does not experience meaningful seasonality with respect to net revenues. No individual quarter in 2020, 2019, or 2018 accounted for more than 30% of annual net revenue.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICES AND ESTIMATES
The application of U.S. GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions about certain items and future events that directly affect our reported financial condition. We have established detailed policies and control procedures to provide reasonable assurance that the methods used to make estimates and assumptions are well controlled and are applied consistently from period to period. The accounting estimates and assumptions discussed in this section are those that we consider to be the most critical to our financial statements. An accounting estimate is considered critical if both (a) the nature of the estimate or assumption is material due to the levels of subjectivity and judgment involved, and (b) the impact within a reasonable range of outcomes of the estimate and assumption is material to our financial condition. Senior management has discussed the development, selection, and disclosure of these estimates with the Audit, Risk, and Compliance Committee of our Board of Directors. Our significant accounting policies, including recent accounting pronouncements, are described in “Note 1—Overview and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies” to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
A quantitative sensitivity analysis is provided where information is available to reasonably estimate the impact, and provides material information to investors. The amounts used to assess sensitivity are included to allow users of this report to understand a general directional cause and effect of changes in the estimates and do not represent management’s predictions of variability. For all of these estimates, it should be noted that future events rarely develop exactly as forecasted, and estimates require regular review and adjustment.
TRANSACTION AND CREDIT LOSSES
Transaction and credit losses include the expense associated with our customer protection programs, fraud, chargebacks, and credit losses associated with our loans receivable balances. Our transaction and credit losses fluctuate depending on many factors, including: total TPV, current and projected macroeconomic conditions, including unemployment rates, merchant insolvency events, changes to and usage of our customer protection programs, the impact of regulatory changes, and the credit quality of loans receivable arising from transactions funded with our credit products, which include our PayPal Credit consumer product and merchant loans and advances arising from our PayPal Working Capital (“PPWC”) and PayPal Business Loan (“PPBL”) products.
We establish allowances for negative customer balances and estimated transaction losses arising from processing customer transactions, such as chargebacks for unauthorized credit card use and merchant-related chargebacks due to non-delivery or unsatisfactory delivery of purchased items, buyer protection program claims, account takeovers, and Automated Clearing House returns. Additions to the allowance, in the form of provisions, are reflected in transaction and credit losses on our consolidated statements of income. The allowances are based on known facts and circumstances, internal factors including experience with similar cases, historical trends involving collection and write-off patterns, and the mix of transaction and loss types, as well as current and projected macroeconomic factors, as appropriate.
We also establish an allowance for loans and interest receivable, which represents our estimate of current expected credit losses inherent in our portfolio of loans and interest receivable. This evaluation process is subject to numerous estimates and judgments. The allowance is primarily based on expectations of credit losses based on historical lifetime loss data as well as macroeconomic forecasts applied to the portfolio, which is segmented by factors such as geographic region, delinquency, and vintage. Loss curves are generated using historical loss data for each loan portfolio and are applied to segments of each portfolio, categorized by factors such as geographic region, first borrowing versus reuse, delinquency, credit rating and vintage, which vary by portfolio. We then apply macroeconomic factors such as forecasted trends in unemployment and benchmark credit card charge-off rates, which are sourced externally, using a single scenario that we believe is most appropriate to the economic conditions applicable to a particular period. We utilize externally sourced macroeconomic scenario data to supplement our historical information due to the limited period in which our credit product offerings have been in existence. Projected loss rates, inclusive of historical loss data and macroeconomic factors, are applied to the principal amount of our consumer and merchant receivables. We also include qualitative adjustments that incorporate incremental information not captured in the quantitative estimates of our current expected credit losses. Our consumer receivables are primarily revolving in nature and do not have a contractual term; however, the reasonable and supportable forecast period we have included in our projected loss rates based on externally sourced data is approximately seven years. Our merchant receivables vary in contractual term; however, the reasonable and supportable forecast period we have considered for projected loss rates is approximately 2.5 to 3.5 years, depending upon the product. The allowance for credit losses on interest and fees receivable is determined primarily by applying loss curves to each portfolio by geography, delinquency, and period of origination, among other factors.
Determining appropriate current expected credit loss allowances for loans and interest receivable is an inherently uncertain process and ultimate losses may vary from the current estimates. We regularly update our allowance estimates as new facts become known and events occur that may impact the settlement or recovery of losses. The allowances are maintained at a level we deem appropriate to adequately provide for current expected credit losses at the balance sheet date after incorporating the impact of externally sourced macroeconomic forecasts. These forecasts project scenarios such as future unemployment and benchmark credit card charge-off rates. As of December 31, 2020, we utilized externally published projections of the U.S. and U.K. forecasted unemployment rates and credit card charge-off rates over the reasonable and supportable period, indicating a slight increase in the first half of 2021 followed by a gradual decline and ultimate stabilization of these rates, resulting in an overall principal and interest coverage ratio of approximately 23%. The projected gradual decline in unemployment and credit card charge-off rates is reflective of a prolonged recovery period where we expect to experience elevated charge-off rates. A significant change in the forecasted macroeconomic factors could result in a material change in our allowances. Our allowance as of December 31, 2020 has been adjusted to account for the proactive and reactive measures that we have taken that are intended to reduce financial difficulties experienced by our customers, and other limitations in our expected credit loss models that have arisen due to the extreme fluctuations in both the actual and projected macroeconomic conditions during the period. These qualitative adjustments were also made to incorporate varying degrees of merchant performance both in the current environment as well as expected future performance, and to account for payment holidays granted. Our allowance as of December 31, 2020 has not been adjusted to account for the potential impacts of the CARES Act, which are also intended to help mitigate the negative impact the current pandemic may have on the financial condition of our customers. We are unable to predict the ultimate impact of these actions which may result in adjustments to our allowance for loans and interest receivable in future periods. An increase of 1% in the principal and interest coverage ratio would increase our allowances by approximately $36 million based on the loans and interest receivable balance outstanding as of December 31, 2020.
ACCOUNTING FOR INCOME TAXES
Our annual tax rate is based on our income, statutory tax rates, and tax planning opportunities available to us in the various jurisdictions in which we operate. Tax laws are complex and subject to different interpretations by the taxpayer and respective government taxing authorities. Significant judgment is required in determining our tax expense and in evaluating our tax positions, including evaluating uncertainties. We review our tax positions quarterly and adjust the balances as new information becomes available. Our income tax rate is significantly affected by the tax rates that apply to our foreign earnings. In addition to local country tax laws and regulations, our income tax rate depends on the extent that our foreign earnings are taxed by the U.S. through provisions such as the GILTI tax and base erosion anti-abuse tax or as a result of our indefinite reinvestment assertion. Indefinite reinvestment is determined by management’s judgment about, and intentions concerning, our future operations.
Deferred tax assets represent amounts available to reduce income taxes payable on taxable income in future years. Such assets arise because of temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, as well as from net operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. We evaluate the recoverability of these future tax deductions and credits by assessing the adequacy of future expected taxable income from all sources, including reversal of taxable temporary differences, forecasted operating earnings, and available tax planning strategies. These sources of income rely heavily on estimates that are based on a number of factors, including our historical experience and short-range and long-range business forecasts. To the extent deferred tax assets are not expected to be realized, we record a valuation allowance.
We recognize and measure uncertain tax positions in accordance with U.S. GAAP, pursuant to which we only recognize the tax benefit from an uncertain tax position if it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained on examination by the taxing authorities, based on the technical merits of the position. The tax benefits recognized in the financial statements from such positions are then measured based on the largest benefit that has a greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We report a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. U.S. GAAP further requires that a change in judgment related to the expected ultimate resolution of uncertain tax positions be recognized in earnings in the quarter in which such change occurs. We recognize interest and penalties, if any, related to unrecognized tax benefits in income tax expense.
We file annual income tax returns in multiple taxing jurisdictions around the world. A number of years may elapse before an uncertain tax position is audited by the relevant tax authorities and finally resolved. While it is often difficult to predict the final outcome or the timing of resolution of any particular uncertain tax position, we believe that our reserves for income taxes are adequate such that we reflect the benefits more likely than not to be sustained in an examination. We adjust these reserves, as well as the related interest and penalties, where appropriate in light of changing facts and circumstances. Settlement of any particular position could require the use of cash.
Based on our results for the year ended December 31, 2020, a one-percentage point increase in our effective tax rate would have resulted in an increase in our income tax expense of approximately $51 million.
We are currently involved in various claims, regulatory and legal proceedings, and investigations of potential operating violations by regulatory oversight authorities. We regularly review the status of each significant matter and assess our potential financial exposure. If the potential loss from any claim, legal proceeding, or potential regulatory violation is considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated, we accrue a liability for the estimated loss. Significant judgment is required in both the determination of probability and whether an exposure is reasonably estimable. Our judgments are subjective and are based on the status of the legal or regulatory proceedings, the merits of our defenses, and consultation with in-house and outside legal counsel. Because of uncertainties related to these matters, accruals are based only on the best information available at the time. As additional information becomes available, we reassess the potential liability related to pending claims, litigation, or other violations and may revise our estimates. Due to the inherent uncertainties of the legal and regulatory process in the multiple jurisdictions in which we operate, our judgments may differ materially from the actual outcomes.
Application of the accounting principles in U.S. GAAP related to the measurement and recognition of revenue requires us to make judgments and estimates. Complex arrangements with nonstandard terms and conditions may require significant contract interpretation to determine the appropriate accounting. Specifically, the determination of whether we are a principal to a transaction (gross revenue) or an agent (net revenue) can require considerable judgment. Further, we provide incentive payments to consumers and merchants, which require judgment to determine whether the payments should be recorded as a reduction to gross revenue. Changes in judgments with respect to these assumptions and estimates could impact the amount of revenue recognized.
VALUATION OF GOODWILL AND INTANGIBLES
The valuation of assets acquired in a business combination and asset impairment reviews require the use of significant estimates and assumptions. The acquisition method of accounting for business combinations requires us to estimate the fair value of assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and any noncontrolling interest in an acquired business to properly allocate purchase price consideration between assets that are depreciated or amortized and goodwill. Impairment testing for assets, other than goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, requires the allocation of cash flows to those assets or group of assets and, if required, an estimate of fair value for the assets or group of assets. Our estimates are based upon assumptions that we believe to be reasonable, but which are inherently uncertain and unpredictable. These valuations require the use of management’s assumptions, which do not reflect unanticipated events and circumstances that may occur.
We evaluate goodwill and intangible assets for impairment on an annual basis, or sooner if indicators of impairment exist. Under U.S. GAAP, the evaluation of indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment allows for a qualitative assessment to be performed, which is similar to U.S. GAAP for evaluating goodwill for impairment. In performing these qualitative assessments, we consider relevant events and conditions, including but not limited to: macroeconomic trends, industry and market conditions, overall financial performance, cost factors, company-specific events, legal and regulatory factors, and our market capitalization. If the qualitative assessments indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit or indefinite-lived intangible assets are less than their carrying amounts, we must perform a quantitative impairment test.
Under the quantitative impairment test, if the carrying amount of the reporting unit goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible asset exceeds the fair value of the respective reporting unit goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible asset, an impairment loss is recorded in the statement of income. Measurement of the fair value of a reporting unit could be based on one or more of the following fair value measures: amounts at which the unit as a whole could be bought or sold in a current transaction between willing parties, present value techniques of estimated future cash flows, valuation techniques based on multiples of earnings or revenue, or a similar performance measure.
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Market risk is the potential for economic losses to be incurred on market risk sensitive instruments arising from adverse changes in market factors such as interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, and equity investment risk. Management establishes and oversees the implementation of policies governing our investing, funding, and foreign currency derivative activities in order to mitigate market risks. We monitor risk exposures on an ongoing basis.
INTEREST RATE RISK
We are exposed to interest rate risk relating to our investment portfolio and from interest-rate sensitive assets underlying the customer balances we hold on our consolidated balance sheets as customer accounts.
As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, approximately 30% and 63%, respectively, of our total cash, cash equivalents, and investment portfolio (excluding restricted cash and strategic investments) was held in cash and cash equivalents. The assets underlying the customer balances which we hold on our consolidated balance sheets as customer accounts are maintained in interest and non-interest bearing bank deposits, time deposits, U.S. and foreign government and agency securities, corporate debt securities, and asset-backed securities. We seek to preserve principal while holding eligible liquid assets, as defined by applicable regulatory requirements and commercial law in certain jurisdictions where we operate, equal to at least 100% of the aggregate amount of all customer balances. We do not pay interest on amounts due to customers.
If interest rates increased by 100 basis points, the fair value of our available-for-sale debt securities investment portfolio would decrease by approximately $173 million and $68 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
We have $9.0 billion in fixed rate debt with varying maturity dates. Since these notes bear interest at fixed rates, they do not result in any financial statement risk associated with changes in interest rates. However, the fair value of these notes fluctuates when interest rates change. We also have a committed revolving credit facility of $5.0 billion available to us. We are obligated to pay interest on borrowings under this facility as well as other customary fees, including an upfront fee and an unused commitment fee based on our debt rating. Borrowings under this facility, if any, bear interest at floating rates. As a result, we are exposed to the risk related to fluctuations in interest rate to the extent of our borrowings. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, we had no amounts outstanding under this credit facility. For additional information, see “Note 12—Debt” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
Interest rates may also adversely impact our customers’ spending levels and ability and willingness to pay outstanding amounts owed to us. Higher interest rates often lead to larger payment obligations by customers of our credit products to us, or to lenders under mortgage, credit card, and other consumer and merchant loans, which may reduce our customers’ ability to remain current on their obligations to us and therefore lead to increased delinquencies, charge-offs, and allowances for loans and interest receivable, which could have an adverse effect on our net income.
FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE RISK
We have significant operations internationally that are denominated in foreign currencies, primarily the British Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar, and Canadian Dollar, subjecting us to foreign currency exchange rate risk, which may adversely impact our financial results. We transact business in various foreign currencies and have significant international revenues and costs. In addition, we charge our international subsidiaries for their use of intellectual property and technology and for certain corporate services. Our cash flows, results of operations, and certain of our intercompany balances that are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations may differ materially from expectations, and we may record significant gains or losses due to foreign currency fluctuations and related hedging activities. We are generally a net receiver of foreign currencies and therefore benefit from a weakening of the U.S. dollar, and are adversely affected by a strengthening of the U.S. dollar, relative to foreign currencies.
We have a foreign currency exchange exposure management program designed to identify material foreign currency exposures, manage these exposures, and reduce the potential effects of currency fluctuations on our consolidated cash flows and results of operations through the execution of foreign currency exchange contracts. These foreign currency exchange contracts are accounted for as derivative instruments. For additional details related to our foreign currency exchange contracts, please see “Note 10—Derivative Instruments” to the consolidated financial statements included in this Form 10-K.
We use foreign currency exchange forward contracts to protect our forecasted U.S. dollar-equivalent earnings and our investment in a foreign subsidiary from adverse changes in foreign currency exchange rates. These hedging contracts reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the impact of adverse foreign currency exchange rate movements. We designate these contracts as cash flow and net investment hedges for accounting purposes. The derivative’s gain or loss is initially reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”). Cash flow hedges are subsequently reclassified into the financial statement line item in which the hedged item is recorded in the same period the forecasted transaction affects earnings. The accumulated gains and losses associated with the net investment hedge will remain in AOCI until the foreign subsidiary is sold or substantially liquidated, at which point they will be reclassified into earnings.
We considered the historical trends in foreign currency exchange rates and determined that it was reasonably possible that changes in exchange rates of 20% for all currencies could be experienced in the near term. If the U.S. dollar weakened by 20% at December 31, 2020 and 2019, the amount recorded in AOCI related to our foreign currency exchange forward contracts, before taxes, would have been approximately $1.1 billion and $900 million lower, respectively. If the U.S. dollar strengthened by 20% at December 31, 2020 and 2019, the amount recorded in AOCI related to our foreign currency exchange forward contracts, before taxes, would have been approximately $1.1 billion and $900 million higher, respectively.
We have an additional foreign currency exchange management program in which we use foreign currency exchange contracts to offset the foreign currency exchange risk on our assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the functional currency of our subsidiaries. These contracts are not designated as hedging instruments and reduce, but do not entirely eliminate, the impact of currency exchange rate movements on our assets and liabilities. The foreign currency exchange gains and losses on our assets and liabilities are recorded in other income (expense), net, and are offset by the gains and losses on the foreign currency exchange contracts.
Adverse changes in exchange rates of 20% for all currencies would have resulted in an adverse impact on income before income taxes of approximately $353 million and $147 million at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, without considering the offsetting effect of foreign currency exchange contracts. Foreign currency exchange contracts in place as of December 31, 2020 would have positively impacted income before income taxes by approximately $369 million, resulting in a net positive impact of approximately $16 million. Foreign currency exchange contracts in place as of December 31, 2019 would have positively impacted income before income taxes by approximately $153 million, resulting in a net positive impact of approximately $6 million. These reasonably possible adverse changes in exchange rates of 20% were applied to total monetary assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the functional currencies of our subsidiaries at the balance sheet dates to compute the adverse impact these changes would have had on our income before income taxes in the near term.
EQUITY INVESTMENT RISK
Our strategic investments are subject to a variety of market-related risks that could substantially reduce or increase the carrying value of the portfolio. As of December 31, 2020 and 2019, our strategic investments totaled $3.2 billion and $1.8 billion, respectively, which represented approximately 17% and 13% of our total cash, cash equivalents, and investment portfolio at each of those respective dates. Our strategic investments include marketable equity securities, which are publicly traded, and non-marketable equity securities, which are investments in privately held companies that are not publicly traded. We are required to record all adjustments to the value of these strategic investments through our consolidated statements of income. As such, we anticipate volatility to our net income in future periods due to changes in fair value related to our investments in marketable equity securities and changes in observable prices related to our non-marketable equity securities accounted for under the Measurement Alternative. These changes could be material based on market conditions. A hypothetical adverse change of 10% in the carrying value of our strategic investments, which could be experienced in the near term, would have resulted in a decrease of approximately $323 million to the carrying value of the portfolio as of December 31, 2020. We review our non-marketable equity investments accounted for under the Measurement Alternative for impairment when events and circumstances indicate a decline in fair value of such assets below carrying value. Our analysis includes a review of recent operating results and trends, recent purchases and sales of securities, and other publicly available data.
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
The audited consolidated financial statements covering the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and accompanying notes listed in Part IV, Item 15(a)(1) of this Form 10‑K are included in this report.
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
Evaluation of disclosure controls and procedures. Based on the evaluation of our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in the Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act), our principal executive officer and our principal financial officer have concluded that as of December 31, 2020, the end of the period covered by this report, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective.
Management’s report on internal control over financial reporting. Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. Our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting based on the framework in Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on its evaluation under the framework in Internal Control - Integrated Framework, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2020.
The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report which appears in Item 15(a) of this Form 10-K.
Changes in internal controls over financial reporting. There were no changes in our internal controls over financial reporting as defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15(f) that occurred during our most recently completed fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
ITEM 9B. OTHER INFORMATION
ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
Incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS
Incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
Incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES
Incorporated by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC within 120 days after December 31, 2020.
ITEM 15. EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES
(a) The following documents are filed as part of this report: