a new way to pay

PayPal is the leading digital payment company in the world, with over 188 million active customer accounts operating in 202 countries and processing around $4.9 billion in payments. It aims to provide a safe, efficient platform for consumers to manage their money and conduct transactions, and boasts financial services such as peer-to-peer transfers, website and merchant payments, and use as an e-wallet attached to any debit or credit cards.



I assisted with the development of a new business pitch for the PayPal APAC account (which we won), primarily by doing research, defining a POV, and helping formulate a pitch strategy.

I focused on competitor products in the local market (Singapore) like DBS PayLah! and Singtel Dash, as well as those common in the APAC/SEA region like Tencent and WePay. I also examined alternative payment systems and other mobile solutions like PonselPay, an SMS payment system for Indonesia, of which 63% of its population is unbanked.

I collated my findings in a spreadsheet and wrote a business intelligence report, which was used to brief the team and our CEO, and eventually presented to the client.


1. Consumer/market research in the Asia-Pacific region for mobile/e-payment services

2. Analysis of current campaign assets for "PayPal is New Money" rebranding

3. Determine market potential for new PayPal products and services and determine a POV


We began our research with a simple question: how do people interact with PayPal?

PayPal is currently undergoing a process of realigning its brand to fit with the demand for simplicity and security in the e-commerce space as cash payment goes out of fashion ("PayPal is New Money"), while simultaneously courting millennials. And with Asia quickly becoming a consumer spending powerhouse, it's important for PayPal to stay focused and on-message even while expanding its reach into international markets.

PayPal currently owns 88.1% of the digital payment market in Singapore, but is working into tapping into up-and-coming markets in Asia as ecommerce and mobile payments gain traction, but it faces challenges in countries like China, in which Alipay dominates the market.

Like WeChat and Alibaba, PayPal has expanded its core offerings within its ecosystem to appeal to SME/SMBs (small-medium enterprises/businesses) with products like peer-to-peer transfers and merchant payment systems to simplify transactions. Unlike its peers, PayPal has credibility as a leader within the e-commerce space as it was designed specifically as a fintech tool. Security and brand recognition are a major part of PayPal's offerings, and its products are an extension of the brand.

We also identified a new target market in Singapore: casual sellers/micro-merchants, who use PayPal to facilitate transactions with internet buyers on platforms like eBay and Carousell. These sellers seek a fast, convenient, and secure payment method for social commerce.

what we found

We analyzed PayPal's competitors (WePay, Alipay, MasterPass, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay) in three segments: business, brand, and communications.

It doesn't really have any direct competitors to its business model, but suffers from a disconnect with its users' desires and an overly-ambitious set of product offerings. While PayPal is consistently innovating, it isn't responding to actual customer pain points.

The "There's a New Money in Town" Super Bowl commercial, a first for PayPal, was bold, dramatic, and aggressive, but the rest of the campaign assets didn't match. The Influencer Series launched in the APAC region used KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders/influencers) and was part of its efforts to connect with millennials and make finance more accessible. But it lacked the same energy as the original TV spot, and it didn't explain the concept of "new money" central to the campaign.


PayPal has enjoyed global success and has been quick to respond to rising consumer trends, and has a huge market share and usage/adoption rate in APAC. The problem is that people use PayPal only out of convenience (i.e. for quick payment on a merchant website) and not as their first choice. It needed to focus on itself and its own strengths rather than try to compete in too many areas.



In writing the business intelligence report, it was my responsibility to give an overview of PayPal's current positioning in the APAC/SEA landscape as well as its growth potential. I constructed an outline of our research parameters, conducted market and competitor research, and arranged our findings and insights into a comprehensive report, including an overview of PayPal's business, the industry landscape, its competitors, and key business trends.

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