The prospect of increased regulation may be worrying the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter – but for PayPal, it would be nothing new.
In an interview with TheStreet.com, PayPal’s COO, Bill Ready, said the company has long operated in an industry that is heavily regulated – more so than his tech peers in Silicon Valley. The executive noted that PayPal not only has to comply with an impending regulation that is coming to the tech sector, but also must meet the strict standards in the finance industry.
“We’re in a heavily regulated space,” he said in the interview. “So unlike other tech companies, where regulation may be a newer thing, we have as our core business something that is heavily regulated.”
Ready pointed out that because the company works with banks and credit card companies, it is subject to more regulation. In addition to its small and medium-sized business customers, PayPal is also eyeing the unbanked, which means more regulation. As a result, PayPal is required to follow the rules and regulations of several government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
And even as PayPal has aimed to meet the regulatory standards, Ready said that because it is a tech company, it has been subject to more scrutiny in recent weeks. “I think everybody is going to be taking a closer look at privacy and all that needs to be done,” said Ready.
Pointing to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming to the European Union next month, Ready said other countries may look toward regulations as a way to protect data. The rule, which will kick off in May, is designed to strengthen the protection of consumers’ data.
“I think GDPR in Europe gives a lens into what thoughtful privacy regulation could look like,” Ready said in the report. “I suspect it will be the case that governments around the world will want to think about how they regulate privacy. GDPR is one of the better examples of thoughtful regulation on privacy.”
The executive noted that regulators largely have consumers’ best interests in mind, and that the interests of companies and regulators are usually closely aligned. “We work closely with regulators,” Ready said. “It’s an evolving landscape, but we will evolve with the landscape.”