PAYPAL’s small-business financing unit has announced that it has topped $3 billion in financing more than 115,000 businesses worldwide. That represents an acceleration of its lending to small businesses, which passed the $1billion milestone a year and a half ago, and is now growing at a rate of $4.5 million a day.
The company also said it’s launching a new set of tools for small business, dubbed “Business in a Box,” that will allow merchants to get access to a set of curated partners directly. To start, those partners include ecommerce-site platform, Woo Commerce, and accounting-software firm, Xero, as well as its own working capital. Merchants can choose to sign up for everything, or pick and choose what they want.
The moves represent an effort by PayPal to change the image that many small businesses have of the online payment-processor’s capabilities. “A lot of our merchants used to think of us as the PayPal button,” said Amit Mathradas, PayPal’s head of small business for North America. “There is an ecosystem that we play in, and we should be helping to curate it, to help merchants get set up quickly, to start an online business or to take an offline business and move it online,” he added.
PayPal got into small-business lending four years ago as an add-on for its merchants, many of whom had stores on eBay, which had owned it for a decade until its spinoff in the summer of 2015. As alternative lending has expanded, PayPal – along with American Express and Square – had the advantage of a captive audience of retail customers. PayPal currently has 16 million merchant accounts worldwide.