Mysterious Conversation Files: PayPal Talks to PYMNTS About Pinterest

We’re eavesdropping on a conversation between Anuj Nayar, Senior Director of Global Initiatives at PayPal, and MPD CEO Karen Webster. They’re talking…about something.

Says Nayar, “Everybody’s been talking about this concept for a while. A bunch of social platforms that haven’t been able to monetize, a bunch of really small apps that have.”


“They’re treating this as a stickiness model, so they can then sell advertising back to the retailers they’re advertising to.”

What the heck?

“What I think is interesting,” adds Webster to this mysterious conversation, ‘is they must think they will be able to command a pretty hefty advertising premium. Advertising-based models on the Web are tough, especially now.”

“The only ad-based model I think works is Google’s,” says Nayar.

“But even Google’s model is being hurt because of the shift to mobile and how consumers are searching for the stuff they want to buy now,” offers Webster.

We are totally and thoroughly confused now.

“If I sit back and I think about what we are doing, … People say ‘Braintree,’ but it’s PayPal…” says Nayar. “This is another connection point…”

[things are starting to become clearer now]

“… and another way to enable payment for consumers and merchants on Pinterest. That’s pretty consistent with your position as the operating system for digital commerce, yes?”

PayPal…which is also Braintree, powering…people…on Pinterest.

Now we got it!

“The merchants [on Pinterest] don’t want to have to integrate anything new,” Nayar tells Webster, “so if they can do all of this, and open up another channel utilizing existing services – be that Braintree or PayPal – if they’re already a PayPal merchant, they should be able to implement it pretty quickly.”

“But at the end of the day, you want to make it as easy as possible for a retailer that – if a consumer wants to be shopping on Pinterest – to get their wares on there. And you start looking for the power of a PayPal brand to do that,” Nayar adds.

That’s it! They’re talking about PayPal being used to enable buying things on Pinterest! Mystery solved!

From here on in, this conversation should be easy breezy to follow.

“I see. The onboarding from the Pinterest merchant perspective is much easier,” says Webster, “if they leverage the PayPal/Braintree platform, it’s pretty easy for brands that want to monetize Pins to do that – and provide a good consumer experience.”

“Exactly,” responds Nayar. “That’s what we’re looking at. And why we are so excited about the opportunity to partner with Pinterest to bring commerce to that platform.”

“How much of Pinterest traffic is from outside the U.S.?” Webster asks. “Is there a big cross-border opportunity for this?”

“Yes.” responds Nayar. “This is really a massive global opportunity.”

That’ll probably be a whole other conversation on which to eavesdrop.


For more on the impact of digital and other innovations in the retail industry, join PYMNTS this August 3-5 in Chicago for Retail Reinvention, a two-day experience designed to help merchants navigate the current and future wave of disruption across the retail payment and commerce landscape.

Click here to reserve your spot today!


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