PayPal expands multi-year Google Cloud partnership as Covid-19 prompts spike in online payments

Online payments platform PayPal is publicly committing to moving more of its workloads to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) as the multi-year development of its hybrid cloud strategy continues apace.

PayPal is in the midst of a multi-year migration to GCP following on from its split from former parent company eBay in 2015, which prompted the firm to embark on a major revamp of the legacy, on-premise infrastructure underpinning its platform.

One of the major reasons for launching its cloud-focused digital transformation project was to make it easier for PayPal to scale up its operations globally, while giving its developers access to the tools they need to bring new products and services to market more quickly.

As a continuation of this work, PayPal is now in the process of moving more and more of its infrastructure workloads to the Google public cloud, along with most of the online transactional data it holds within its SAP S/4Hana database.

“With the bulk of its online transactional data residing in its SAP S/4Hana database, PayPal was able to leverage SAP’s Financial Products Subledger, delivered at massive scale on Google Cloud, to quickly process transactions at high volume, as well as to analyse purchasing trends at volume with low latency,” said PayPal in a statement.

PayPal cited the Covid-19 pandemic as a factor in its decision to expand its longstanding technology tie-up with GCP, claiming that the situation has led to a 24% spike in total active customer accounts, as consumers turned to online shopping in growing numbers over the past year. As a result, PayPal said that, as of the end of the first quarter of 2021, it had 392 million active users.

At the same time, Google has added PayPal as a payment method for users of its Google Ads and Google Workspace offerings in the US and select European countries, which may also lead to a further uptick in user numbers.

“E-commerce has spiked during the pandemic, with people using less cash,” said Derek White, Google Cloud’s vice-president of global financial services. “As a result, payments providers have been in high demand.

“We are working with PayPal to leverage the power of the cloud to make shopping and e-commerce easier, faster and more secure. And that’s a win for businesses and consumers.”

Wes Hummel, vice-president of site reliability and cloud engineering at PayPal, said the Google Cloud partnership makes it easier for the firm to respond to changing consumer buying habits as the infrastructure underlying its platform is now more agile and responsive.

“We can only develop fast, build fast and deploy fast if we have infrastructure that’s as nimble as we are,” he said. “By leveraging the power of the cloud, our teams can focus on providing the best products, capabilities and services to our customers.”

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