Date
19 August 2017
A Paypal employee holds photographs of herself during celebrations for the company's relisting on the Nasdaq in New York in July 2015. Photo: Reuters
A Paypal employee holds photographs of herself during celebrations for the company's relisting on the Nasdaq in New York in July 2015. Photo: Reuters

PayPal to expand lending offering with acquisition

Payments firm PayPal Holdings Inc. has agreed to acquire online lending company Swift Financial in a bid to expand its business that provides working capital to merchants, Reuters reports.

The acquisition will allow PayPal to offer loans to the larger businesses that process payments through its platform and better provide credit to firms that are not yet users of its services, the company said on Thursday.

San Jose, California–based PayPal did not disclose terms of the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval.

Founded in 2006, Delaware-based Swift Financial extends credit to businesses through loans and advances.

PayPal has been offering short-term loans to its smaller merchants through a division called PayPal Working Capital since 2013. It uses data on the payments it processes for its merchants to assess their credit-worthiness.

The company has lent more than US$3 billion to 115,000 small businesses in loans of up to US$125,000 since inception.

The deal will enable PayPal to start offering term loans of up to US$500,000 to its larger merchants and take advantage of Swift Financial’s data capabilities to lend to companies that may not be long-time users of its services.

“This is an area where customers have been asking for more,” Darrell Esch, vice president and commercial officer of global credit at PayPal, said in an interview.

Since breaking off from eBay Inc in 2015, PayPal has been expanding partnerships and acquiring new services to gain advantage over rivals in a highly competitive digital payments market.

Online lending, which took off after banks retreated from offering loans to small businesses and consumers in the wake of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, takes advantage of digital technologies to offer loans at lower costs.

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