PayPal is introducing what it terms a “reimagined checkout experience” that will reduce checkout times by as much as 50%. In addition, it’s using artificial intelligence (AI) to craft personalized recommendations to consumers and has also announced cash-back offerings that CEO Alex Chriss said will “revolutionize commerce.”
The half-dozen products and services, announced Thursday (Jan. 25) are in the pilot phases, with larger rollouts slated for later in the year.
The company’s “Fastlane” service, a retooling of the checkout experience, will enable one-click guest checkouts as they save their data with PayPal. In a video accompanying the announcement, Chriss noted that “little interruptions,” including password prompts or lagging response times, can disrupt shopping.
“No wonder that half the time,” said Chriss, “as close as [consumers] are to making the purchase, they just quit … it’s a frustrating ‘gap’ for merchants.” The enhanced checkouts bypass the pain points of updating credit card and shipping data, the company said. Members integrating passkeys log in with face or fingerprint and checkout with one tap. The result is that latency is reduced by 50% and checkout is twice as fast.
“We have massively accelerated the checkout process,” he said. Because the company can recognize 70% of guests who are PayPal users or shop at the platform’s merchants, the company can reduce guest checkout times by 40%, Chriss said. BigCommerce has already implemented Fastlane and the resulting conversion rates have been as high as 70%.
“Merchants will have more meaningful post sales interactions,” Chriss said, as the company is using AI to organize and harness data from what Chriss said amounts to roughly half a trillion dollars in digital commerce transactions.
The company’s “Smart Receipts” function allows consumers to not only track their purchase, but also harnesses AI to predict what they may want to buy next from that merchant.
As a result, now merchants will be able to include a personalized recommendation along with a cash-back reward offer on the receipt — a bid to, in the CEO’s words, “turn one-time shoppers into repeat shoppers.”
“As a result,” Chriss said, “merchants will be able to include this personalized recommendation along with a cash back reward offer on the receipt.” The open rate of the -mailed receipts is already about 45% globally, he said. The offers themselves will be more effective than traditional ad-driven approaches because they will be “timely, hyper-relevant recommendations,” he said. The new AI-driven approach will help reach consumers with insight derived from what they’ve already bought across the Internet, “down to the SKU, down to the individual product.” Merchants will pay only for performance, not impressions, said Chriss.
The “CashPass” feature announced Thursday will enable merchants to reach customers with personalized cash-back offers, underpinned by AI to provide relevancy.
“We use AI to organize the offers for you,” Chriss said, “based on how and where you shop … there’s no limit to how much cash back” consumers can receive. Initial merchant partners will include Uber, Walmart, Ticketmaster and others. Consumers paying with PayPal Cashback Mastercard, the CEO said, get another 3% on everything they buy through PayPal online.
Chriss also said that the company is also is enriching its Venmo business profiles, which now will feature subscription and promotion options.
With the subscribe button, he said, “every time a customer pays you [the merchant], they are also giving you the chance to gain subscribers because their friends, neighbors and local community will see you.” The enhanced Venmo offerings also will enable merchants to offer users cash back offers in near-real time.