Payments By The Numbers

Want to be the smartest person in the room on Monday morning? Check out a few of the stats that you may have missed last week about Apple Pay, PayPal and consumer spending.

100 Billion | PayPal’s projected market cap

At least that’s what The Motley Fool’s Brian Nichols says, who also argues that the cited number can’t work in the current reality. “Based on PayPal’s current fundamentals and business model, it would be near impossible to justify a $100 billion market capitalization.” —He says that’s only possible if PayPal becomes a true processor, then’s it’s a piece of cake.

60.4 Billion | The number of dollars payments by U.S. consumers increased in August

 It’s a not all worry and gloom–it looks like consumers were feeling better about spending in August than they were in July. Payments by U.S. consumers increased $60.4 billion in August, compared to just $3.5 billion in July, according to a new Commerce Department report. Even better, the consumer spending increase of 0.5 percent is the biggest gain since March. Dark cloud lurking behind the silver lining? Construction spending dropped off in August, which some analysts are predicting is a canary in the coal mine for spending in general in the remainder of 2014.

800 million | An insufficient number of digital accounts to wow a Pizza Hut executive.

Pizza Hut, the first retailer to truly push the capabilities of the iPhone app and longtime Apple cheerleader, made some decidedly non-cheerleaderish comments on Monday (Oct. 6) during a tradeshow panel. “I am more pessimistic about Apple Pay’s impact than most people here,” Danny Sullivan, the pizza chain’s vice president of global digital experience, said during a panel at the Mobile Shopping Summit 2014. But it’s not all haters–Calvin Klein e-commerce VP Brett Miller thinks that hundreds of million of millions accounts and 220 K store locations are enough to be a game changer.

300 | The number of dollars you needed in your pocket to buy a bitcoin last weekend.

 The great bitcoin crash of 2014 took nearly $700 of the value of a bitcoin from its one year ago today price, as an increasingly number of holders are selling out. Enthusiasts claim that this is for the best, those fad chasers are running away and that it is always darkest before the dawn. Less enthralled parties, like MPD founder and economist David Evans, have noted that it is also darkest right before it goes pitch black, and that bitcoin is surely behaving like a bubble that is bursting. O the upside? Investors seems totally unconcerned about this, and continue to throw money at bitcoin as though it is water and the digital currency is on fire.

115 | The percentage more that business checking accounts cost (vs. consumer accounts)

 Among the many, many things small-business owners have to fear including late invoices, acts of God, economic crash and securing investment/financing, there is apparently a new one to add to the list: Expensive checking. In Q3, business checking accounts are 115 percent more expensive than personal online checking accounts, offering 72 percent lower interest rates and have 42 percent fewer features. The good news? That is actually an improvement over Q1 and Q2.

90 | The percentage of payday lending complaints received by the BBB about online lenders (vs. store-based lenders)

 As it turns out, if one is worried about getting the best deal on a payday loan, finding an in-person lender is the safer path because a new report by Pew shows that online lenders are more likely to charge higher fees and go the extra-mile to keep lendees refinancing their loans. Silver lining? The scrutiny is driving the bad guys away – recently shamed payday lender Wonga is banning the youth enticing muppet-like advertising in its attempt to rebrand itself as not incredibly sleazy.

52 | The percentage of iPhone owners who have yet to download iOS 8.

 Two weeks in and several bug reveals (and patches) later, iOS 8 is not seeing the speedy adoption that Apple’s previous mobile operating systems have enjoyed. According to data released on Apple’s website, only 47 percent of those carrying Apple mobile devices have officially made the switch to iOS8. That is quite a steep drop off from iOS 7, which at the same point after its initial release was up and running on 70 percent of Apple devices.

? | The percentage of market share of all spend on U.S. credit and debit cards Karen Webster thinks is likely for Apple Pay (vs Carl

Icahn’s 30 percent projection) Carl Icahn may be “like a gazillion-billionaire,” but as it turns out that is no guarantee that his math is always going to be right, according to MPD CEO Karen Webster. Icahn expects great things of Apple Pay and Apple in general, and while Webster thinks he is right in his premise, he is off in his numbers, by a lot. “Even the most optimistic projections I’ve seen show a 47 percent share of terminals being capable of accepting NFC transactions in 2018 (and even that seems like a stretch) not necessarily turned on and ready to accept NFC payments. (So, for example, Walmart is in those numbers and, at least, today, they won’t be using NFC for payments),” Webster wrote. Given those numbers as a baseline, Webster thinks Icahn’s prediction that Apple will reach “30 percent market share of all spend on U.S. credit and debit cards” is probably outside the realm of possibility, and a percentage in the low single digits is much more likely.