PayPal (87), the dominant online payment brand, has been maneuvering to secure an equally strong role in the electronic wallet or “e-wallet” market. The company’s recent acquisition of e-wallet provide Paydiant for $280 million is intended to help the company better compete with Apple Pay (up +2 at 55) and other aggressive and well-positioned mobile payment offerings.
According to the media, PayPal’s recent acquisition will help them better compete against the growing list of e-wallet suppliers, like the soon-to-be-launched Samsung Pay leveraging their LoopPay acquisition, and Google’s Android Pay. At the time of the PayPal acquisition, Paydiant was earning a meager media rating of 24, down -2 points or 4% over the prior month. The brand’s media prominence plateaued in early 2014 and continued to disappoint with continued negative momentum.
PayPal is currently off -2 points or 3% at 87. Much of the media volume behind these numbers was influenced by the company’s mobile payment announcements combined with continued noise around the spin-off from parent company eBay (down -5 at 90). The brand now shares the leading sector position with relative newcomer Bitcoin in the online payment sector. Overall, the sector is showing some weakness with a relative strength index (RSI) of .32. Decliners outpaced gainers by a 2:1 margin. Google Wallet led sector gains at 70 points, up +14 or 26%, while media darling Square reached a 4-year high at 70 rating points in March.
To say this sector is dynamic would be an understatement. It’s a crowded sector with new entrants and exits each month. Two brand in particular — PayPal and Bitcoin — draw disproportionate media coverage while the other brands struggle for attention. Naturally the sector draws considerable investor attention, which drives much of the resulting media coverage. Bitcoin in particular, off -2 points or 3% at 87 rating points is a media magnet with the brand’s disruptive strategy and alternative currency message.
The media insight here is the mobile commerce trend is hot, 79 media rating with strong (+23) media momentum. The field is crowded and highly dynamic and the big tech players are all committing significant resources to secure a leadership position. Apple, Google and Samsung all have handset platforms that are essentially electronic wallets waiting to happen. And while the media has been covering many of the smaller players, the large handset brands and beginning to show their cards, and the media is taking notice.