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Payment apps staff up as digital transfers rise in social distancing

2 weeks ago by Jon Marino in Consumer

Social distancing is causing massive, immediate shifts in consumer behavior - and absent cash, mobile payments are a very effective way of managing money. Right now, two leaders in the mobile payments space — PayPal ($NASDAQ:PYPL) and Square ($NYSE:SQ) — are scaling up job postings as more Americans flock to cash alternatives. 

PayPal is hiring pretty much across the board - postings have more than doubled so far this year. One of the areas it's been staffing up lately is its analytics team - the rearrangement of customs, trends and societal norms may make for some fascinating payments data, and it seems if PayPal is looking to better understand the trends. 

PayPal stock is down 15% in 2020 - which, next to the 26% slide for the S&P Index, makes it seem like a solid outperformer in a turbulent year. Square is adding job postings as well, but its stock is down more than a third in 2020. 

Square is loading up on job postings - adding 37% new listings since the year began. It's particularly staffing up its Cash app (47 job postings at most recent tally, compared to 30 when the year began), but doing less hiring for international partnerships - which, given the global business climate, is fully understandable. 

Next, Square may load up on a different sort of hire - as it tries to become a bank

It's not the only place Jack Dorsey is welcoming new hires - he's guiding a similar trend over at Twitter, as more social media companies load up on staffers to facilitate a very different kind of need (countering boredom). 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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