Dan Schulman: What COVID-19 means for the future of commerce, capitalism and cash

Recorded atMay 18, 2020
Duration (min:sec)49:04
Video TypeTED Stage Talk
Words per minute138.3 slow
Readability (FK)51.26 difficult
SpeakerDan Schulman

Official TED page for this talk


Capitalism needs an upgrade, says PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, and it starts with paying people enough to actually invest in their futures. He discusses why companies need to cultivate trust to recover and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic -- and how we can use this defining moment to create a more inclusive, ethical economy. (This virtual conversation, hosted by TED business curator Corey Hajim and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded on May 19, 2020.)

Text Highlight (experimental)
100:12 Corey Hajim: Today, our guest is Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal.
200:17 When most of us think of PayPal, we think of buying something online or paying a friend back for a drink using Venmo.
300:24 But PayPal has also become a major financial services player, often acting as an alternative to a traditional bank.
400:33 During this pandemic, PayPal has supported small businesses around the world by providing loans, waiving fees and increasing cash back programs.
500:44 It has also worked with the US government on its Paycheck Protection Program, as well as distributing stimulus checks.
600:52 It has enabled an outpouring of generosity online as well.
700:57 The trend towards digital payments, or what we might now want to think of as "contactless payments," has massively accelerated, and it's changing forever how we think about commerce.
801:08 So I'm really excited to have Dan here with us.
901:11 Thank you so much, Dan.
1001:15 Dan Schulman: Thanks for having me, Corey. Pleasure to be here with you.
1101:18 CH: Glad to see you.
1201:21 So let's dive right in.
1301:24 Within a few months of this pandemic's arrival, more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment in the United States alone.
1401:33 These are certainly unusual circumstances, but it seems clear we were running very close to the edge, and now so many businesses and their employees are facing huge financial challenges.
1501:45 How worried are you?
1601:48 DS: Well, I think the crisis has exposed three things.
1701:54 Obviously, it's a health crisis for so many people.
1801:59 Second thing is, that health crisis has ricocheted, and the world is now in an economic crisis.
1902:08 And the third crisis that we don't talk so much about but I think is impacting the way that we're going to live our lives going forward is: this is a psychological crisis as well.
2002:20 People are reexamining their place in the world, what's happening in the world, how they're going to live their lives, both in the pandemic and postpandemic.
2102:32 And so I think this is something that each of those phases will need to be dealt with.
2202:40 But you said this, and I completely agree with you: there was an economic crisis happening well before the pandemic exposed this.
2302:51 It's kind of like the water level came down and exposed what was already there.
2402:57 You had, for instance, in the US, 185 million adults in the US struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month.
2503:10 You have over 70 million adults that are really outside of the financial system, spending over 140 billion dollars on high interest rates, unnecessary fees and struggling as well.
2603:25 And so I think what this has really done -- because you can't ignore 20, 25 percent unemployment rates -- it's exposed this crisis and forced a lot of people into, maybe, actions that they might not have taken without this crisis happening.
2703:46 CH: Yeah, I think that's right.
2803:48 There are so many challenges and so many opportunities, and I think you've spoken of this opportunity of digital transactions being helpful to people, and obviously the trend, as you've said, has massively accelerated and pushed us into this world even further.
2904:07 So I'm curious: What does the world look like without cash?
3004:12 Or less cash?
3104:13 What are the advantages and what are the challenges of making that transition?
3204:18 DS: I think some of the trends that are emerging coming out of this pandemic or coming into it and as we look forward is, clearly, this has been a discontinuous change in the trend line as we move from physical to digital.
3304:37 I think we've accelerated many forms of digital capabilities by three to five years.
3404:46 And that can be from digital payments to telemedicine to really changing the face of retail and how we think about retailing, changing the face of entertainment, even changing the way governments think about managing and moving money and really thinking about digital currencies going forward.
3505:13 And so I think there are a tremendous number of changes that will occur during this pandemic and coming out of it.
3605:22 Digital payments is obviously one of the big ones that will happen.
3705:25 I mean, cash has been around for quite some time, thousands of years.
3805:31 I would not be so bold as to predict its full demise.
3905:35 Many people have been wrong doing that.
4005:38 But there is no question right now that you will see an acceleration of the demise of cash.
4105:46 Last year, you had over 18 trillion dollars of cash spent at retail.
4205:52 Eighty-five percent of the world's transactions today are done in cash still.
4305:58 But the really big change right now towards digital payments, and that's both the advent and the acceleration of commerce that's happening, as well as the shift to in-store contactless payments, as you said, and the real impetus for that is health reasons.
4406:21 People do not want to hand over money.
4506:24 They do not want to touch screens.
4606:26 They don't want to pick up a pen and sign at the point of sale.
4706:30 And so there is a demand for contactless payments and digital payments to keep social distancing requirements in place, to protect the health of cashiers, to protect the health of consumers.
4806:47 And I think we are going to see, we are already seeing in our business, a surge in digital payments across the world.
4906:59 CH: It seems like a great opportunity, but how do we make sure that this transition is inclusive?
5007:06 I mean, you've talked about how so many people are underserved by the traditional banking industry.
5107:12 How do we make sure that those people have that opportunity?
5207:17 And it feels like a smartphone becomes an essential item.
5307:21 How do we address that?
5407:24 DS: Yeah.
5507:25 I do think that a mobile is really a key to unlocking this.
5607:32 I've often said that, really, one of the big moon shots for the financial services industry is this idea of not just financial inclusion.
5707:43 Most people define financial inclusion by somebody having access to a bank account, but just having access to a bank account is not nearly enough.
5807:53 I think what we need to aim for is how do we think about financial health?
5907:58 How do we make sure that people have the ability to have some wherewithal to create savings to withstand some kind of financial shock to the system?
6008:11 I do think that mobile phones will be the way that this occurs and will be very inclusive going forward.
6108:21 There are going to be something like six billion smartphones in the world over the next several years.
6208:28 The cost of a smartphone is plummeting.
6308:31 I think in India now you can buy a smartphone for under 25 dollars.
6408:36 So you're going to have ubiquity of smartphones across the world, and, in fact, what's very interesting is, in lower-income populations, there is a greater penetration of smartphones than in higher income because the smartphone is the only device that somebody has.
6508:56 Higher-income individuals may have desktops or iPads, that kind of thing, but lower income can afford one device, and they choose it to be a smartphone because they can get and live their life through that one device.
6609:11 And think about that one device.
6709:14 Really, you have all the power of a bank branch in the palm of your hands.
6809:20 And when you can start to create distribution of services, financial services, through a smartphone, you then are able to manage and move money in ways that we couldn't do traditionally.
6909:38 In the physical world, if you get a check, you need to then go to a cash checking place to cash it.
7009:45 You stand in line for 30 minutes.
7109:48 They then charge you anywhere between two and five percent to just change the format of currency from a check to cash.
7209:57 And then you have cash and you want to pay a bill.
7309:59 You need to stand in line again at a bill pay, and then you have to pay maybe 10 dollars for an individual bill as a fee.
7410:09 If you do that via a smartphone, I believe that not only do you save a tremendous amount of time, because if you're outside the financial system, managing and moving money is practically a part-time job to go and do that, so not only do you save time and return time to individuals, but you can cut the cost of transactions by anywhere between 50 and 75 percent.
7510:34 And remember that $140 billion number that I gave you?
7610:38 And that's just in the US.
7710:41 Imagine if you could cut that in half and return that to the most vulnerable populations that need it most.
7810:50 So I think there's tremendous promise in the use of technology to help provide both inclusion and make sure there aren't digital haves and have-nots, but also to start on this journey towards financial health.
7911:06 CH: Yeah, I think a lot of people don't realize that you don't need a bank account or even a credit card to open a PayPal account, which is super-interesting.
8011:17 I mean, do you see a time where traditional banks don't exist or at least play a much smaller role in the financial services industry?
8111:26 DS: Well, I think the entire financial services industry is evolving right now, and so I think banks will always play a role, or as far into the future as I can see, but it will evolve.
8211:42 I mean, think about basic credit cards.
8311:47 Today, you think about a credit card, and you think about it predominantly as a form factor, something that you pull out of your pocket.
8411:54 Sometimes there's status associated with what you're pulling out of your pocket, depending on the color of that credit card.
8512:03 But really I think those form factors start to go away and become embedded in digital wallets.
8612:10 So credit will always be an important element.
8712:14 You know, most people in the world, it isn't that their cash outlays exceed their cash intake.
8812:23 It's just that they're not evenly distributed.
8912:26 So there are times where your cash outflows exceed your cash intake, and there, you need some form of credit to make up that difference.
9012:36 And so I think forms of credit will always be an important element.
9112:42 But the way that you extend credit will change going forward, the way that you think about scoring people in terms of can they handle credit.
9212:53 You know, traditionally, in more developed countries, you use what's called FICO scores or bureau scores, but those ignore so many of the financial transactions that people who are outside the financial system do, like paying rent or paying their bills on time.
9313:12 And with the data and information and machine learning around that -- and we need to be careful that there aren't biases built into those algorithms -- we can start to do things that could never be done before.
9413:27 I'll just give you one quick example.
9513:30 We're one of the largest providers of working capital to small businesses in the world.
9613:36 We're probably one of the top five in the United States.
9713:40 So we've done over 14, 15 billion dollars of lending of working capital to small businesses.
9813:47 Seventy percent of that goes to the 30 percent of counties where 10 or more banks have closed branches.
9913:56 And where do banks close branches?
10013:58 Banks close branches in neighborhoods where the median income is below the national average, which makes sense because for a branch to be profitable, they need a certain amount of deposits for that branch to actually be profitable.
10114:13 And so, in lower income neighborhoods, branches are starting to close.
10214:18 So why are 70 percent of our loans in those lower income neighborhoods?
10314:22 It's because we do machine learning.
10414:24 We don't even look at FICO scores or bureau scores.
10514:28 We look at a number of different data elements.
10614:31 And so we can lend into those lower income neighborhoods where nobody else can, and when we do that, the average sale of a small business goes up by 22 percent.
10714:44 And imagine the impact that has on communities and neighborhoods where they can finally get the working capital to expand those small businesses.
10814:53 And I think that's a perfect example of the promise of what technology and financial services married together can do.
10915:03 CH: I think it's so interesting.
11015:05 I'm curious.
11115:07 The tech industry has been criticized for amassing power over society, not that the banking industry isn't criticized.
11215:16 But what do you say about people who might be worried about tech companies taking on even more influence and control over what's happening in their lives?
11315:27 DS: Yeah.
11415:28 Well, I think what's so important for any company and tech companies is to respect the boundaries in terms of what consumers expect from a company that serves them.
11515:46 I think the most important brand attribute that a company can have is trust, and trust comes from the understanding that a company respects your privacy and will not sell your data or information, that it can perform transactions in a secure manner so that your transactions are protected.
11616:15 And I think those are kind of foundational, and I think any company needs to respect that.
11716:23 They need to assure that consumers have the privacy that they desire and the safety and security that is required to serve them the right way.
11816:38 CH: And obviously, you've gained a lot of trust with the US government.
11916:43 Maybe we could talk a little bit about how you've been working with them to distribute some money through the Paycheck Protection Program.
12016:52 And I was curious, I've been reading about it, and it sounds like 30 million-ish small businesses in the United States are able to get those funds, but only six million have received the loans.
12117:06 What do you think's happened?
12217:08 DS: Yep.
12317:09 Well, I think initially, the government -- and I give them a lot of credit -- they responded quite quickly with a 3 trillion dollar stimulus package.
12417:22 These are massive numbers that were happening in very condensed time frames.
12517:28 We were working with various agencies, very closely with the Treasury Department, in terms of distribution of the stimulus.
12617:40 And they were working literally night and day on this.
12717:45 The Small Business Administration was working night and day.
12817:49 But these are volumes that have never been seen before running through these systems, and the first tranche of those loans was very difficult.
12918:01 There were a lot of technical difficulties in getting those out to small businesses.
13018:08 And that first tranche was not enough, and it was quickly used, and there are still a host of small businesses that needed money.
13118:21 The second tranche that came out is still actually in effect.
13218:25 It has not been used up, and we are continuing to lend on that.
13318:30 We've been able to lend to some 50,000 small businesses.
13418:36 We've lent out about 1.7 billion dollars, and our loan size, which really I'm proud of, is about 31,000 dollars.
13518:47 The average that a bank does is between 100 and 125,000 dollars.
13618:51 So we are lending to these true small businesses on Main Street, and I'm proud that we've been able to go do that, and I think we should give credit to the US government and governments around the world that are taking this quite seriously and putting a tremendous amount, a percentage of their GDP, towards the rescue of small businesses and towards trying to take care of consumers that find themselves in really difficult straits right now.
13719:28 And we've been trying to, instead of people mailing out checks, which is ridiculous in today's world -- people aren't living where they think they're going to be living, they're with their parents or with friends or in a different location, and mailing a check and then having to take a check and go somewhere, which you can't even go if you're sheltered in place, to cash it, doing that electronically just makes a ton more sense -- and we've been working with the IRS and Treasury and other government agencies to distribute that electronically.
13820:01 CH: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
13920:03 It's a massive, massive project for all of us.
14020:08 Whitney is here with some questions from our community.
14120:12 DS: Hello, Whitney.
14220:13 Whitney Pennington Rodgers: Hello Dan. How are you?
14320:16 So the community has some interesting questions following up on what you were talking about earlier about security.
14420:21 We have a question from Marc -- and I apologize in advance if I mispronounce your name, Marc -- Marc Vanlerberghe: "The move to digital cash could be one more step towards creating the perfect surveillance state.
14520:32 How do we avoid this from happening?" DS: Yeah, well, this is what I was talking about, Marc, before.
14620:38 I mean, I think this idea of trust is incredibly important.
14720:46 I think the only companies that will be successful -- and I think we hold a lot of this in our own hands as consumers, by the way; we need to be aware of data and information that we're giving and to what companies we're doing that with -- but I think the companies that will be successful are those that have a high degree of trust, and trust happens by protecting your privacy but also very much assuring that your transactions in a digital world are safe and secure.
14821:19 I mean, the idea of cybersecurity has always been important, but is ever more important as we move from physical to digital, and that's where large data sets are important, because a consumer's identity is stolen every two seconds.
14921:39 Every two seconds, some consumer has their identity stolen.
15021:42 And so we have to be, for instance, we have to be sure that even when you sign in with your credentials, they're actually real credentials.
15121:54 We have to look at 30 to 100 different elements of that transaction to make sure it's really you before we let that money out of your account.
15222:04 And so there is a combination of making sure you have enough data to protect somebody but also assure that your privacy is held sacrosanct, and I think that is a balancing act and one that needs to happen in order for us to do this successfully.
15322:26 WPR: Great, and actually sort of going from digital cash to digital currency, we have another question from Simone Ross in our community about the opportunity that exists for digital currency.
15422:38 She mentioned that PayPal pulled out of Libra.
15522:41 What would it take for a truly inclusive digital currency to take hold here?
15622:47 DS: Yeah.
15722:48 I think there is a tremendous amount of promise as we think about digital currencies.
15822:57 Our pulling out of Libra had nothing to do with our firm conviction that blockchain and other forms of maybe stable coin currencies are extremely important and can be very, very helpful, especially in different parts of the world.
15923:20 As we think about stability in different parts of the world where currencies can fluctuate up and down, to have a more stable currency where somebody can know, if they have that, that it's going to be worth x amount, and that they can transact, either with other individuals around the world or, importantly, at merchants around the world.
16023:45 And we are looking at all forms of digital currencies right now, working hand in hand with a number of different governments, and I think we should all think about how technology is going to evolve and how currencies will evolve as a result of that.
16124:05 And I think this crisis has really opened the eyes of many governments around the world as to the need for different tool sets to create stimulus and to efficiently and quickly and effectively distribute funds to their citizens.
16224:31 WPR: Great. Well, I'll be back shortly with more questions, and I'd just love to remind the community that you can ask questions on the "Ask question" feature.
16324:38 Be sure to use the pull-down tab to select Episode 2, so those questions come.
16424:42 Thank you.
16524:43 DS: Thanks, Whitney.
16624:45 CH: Thanks, Whitney.
16724:47 Dan, I want to go back to something we touched on in the beginning about financial wellness.
16824:53 PayPal has done something unique in terms of calculating how much to pay people and how much you should spend on benefits.
16925:04 Traditionally, wages are set by the market, but you've found that paying as much or even more than other companies wasn't always enough.
17025:11 Can you tell us about that moment?
17125:15 DS: Yeah.
17225:17 So I said, kind of, in our opening, in one of my opening statements, that two-thirds of Americans struggle to make ends meet at the end of the month.
17325:31 They are financially stressed, and it kind of wreaks havoc in their life.
17425:40 I did a study to look at PayPal employees.
17525:46 We did a research study, and I did it because I thought I was going to get back this great information that I was going to talk about at an employee meeting about how well we pay, because we pay, to your point, at or above market in every single location around the world.
17626:05 And what I found is, unfortunately, like the rest of the world, even though we paid at market or above market, 60 percent of our operations personnel, our entry-level employees, our hourly workers, face the same thing.
17726:22 They struggle to make ends meet.
17826:24 And that was simply unacceptable for me.
17926:28 I think the world is changing in terms of the responsibility of corporations, the responsibility of CEOs.
18026:38 We have a lot of different stakeholders that we try to satisfy, from regulators to shareholders to customers to employees.
18126:48 But I think the number one responsibility that we have is the health -- financial health -- of our employees, because nothing could be more important to a company than to have financially secure, passionate employees working for you, because nobody is going to serve customers better than employees who feel a part of something and feel financially secure and glad to be a part of that company.
18227:16 And so then the real question becomes: How do you measure that?
18327:21 Because a lot of people think about living wages or a minimum wage.
18427:25 And we thought that was insufficient, and we came up with a measurement we called "net disposable income," which is, basically: After you pay taxes and your basically essential living expenses, how much money do you have left over for discretionary things or to save?
18527:48 And here's the really unfortunate thing -- and I'm not proud of this, but remember, we were paying at market or above, so I thought the market would take care of this, right, by doing that -- we found that for that population, they had four to six percent NDI, net disposable income, after paying taxes and essential living expenses.
18628:11 That is not enough.
18728:12 You are going to struggle to make ends meet.
18828:15 And by the way, NDI changes location to location to location around the globe, right?
18928:20 There's a different NDI in Manila, a different NDI in Omaha, Nebraska, than there is in New York City, etc.
19028:29 And so we basically said to ourselves, we need to take NDI to 20 percent.
19128:37 Because at 20 percent -- and that's a huge shift, from four to six to 20 percent -- but at 20 percent, you actually have the ability to save and to put money away and to take care of discretionary expenses.
19228:53 And so we did a pretty massive reorientation of our compensation systems.
19329:02 We lowered the cost of benefits by 58 percent, because benefits are like a regressive tax, you pay the same amount no matter what your salary is.
19429:14 And so we had a lot of employees who weren't taking health care benefits, because it cost too much to be able to do that.
19529:21 So we lowered it by 58 percent.
19629:24 We made every single employee of PayPal a shareholder and an owner of the business, and we gave them pretty big grants so that they could be a part of the success of PayPal going forward.
19729:38 We raised salaries where we needed to go and do that.
19829:41 And then we wrapped all of that into a financial education program, because people had never gotten equity before, they were trying to think through, "How do I save now that I've got incremental dollars to go and do that?" And that cost us quite a bit of money to go and do that, but I really feel, just like how we spend a lot of money to take care of customers, as you mentioned up front, in COVID-19, that companies need to stand for more than just making money, for more than just maximizing our profits next quarter.
19930:20 I firmly, firmly believe that the costs associated with taking care of our employees, taking care of our customers, will benefit us in the long run multiplefold over the costs associated with doing that.
20030:36 And we're already beginning to see some of the impact of that.
20130:41 And so, I think every CEO, every company, needs to really now start to think about, especially maybe as a result of this crisis, but as I mentioned, we had a crisis before this, how do we put our employees first, take care of them?
20231:01 Because if you do that, you'll take care of customers, and if you take care of customers, you'll take care of shareholders, inevitably.
20331:08 And so this has been a huge part of it about for the last year or so.
20431:18 CH: It's so interesting, and it brings up so many questions, I think, for me and probably our community as well.
20531:25 I mean, PayPal is a hugely profitable tech business, huge free cash flow and big margins.
20631:35 Do you think this model is something that every company can do, whether it's a tech company, a manufacture, a meatpacking business?
20731:45 I mean, is this what everyone should be focused on?
20831:49 DS: Well, I think that -- and I don't want to moralize or tell other companies what they should do -- but to me, I think everyone should understand the financial health of their employees.
20932:05 That's a baseline thing to go do.
21032:08 What you do post-that is up to maybe your financial strength as a company or where you put your order of priorities.
21132:21 But what I've found is, I thought the market could tell you that, and this is why I say, in many ways -- you know, I'm a big believer in capitalism.
21232:33 I think it's, in many ways, the best economic system that I know of.
21332:41 But, like everything, it needs an upgrade.
21432:44 It needs tuning, and at least for these vulnerable populations, just because you pay at market doesn't mean that they have financial health or financial wellness.
21532:58 And I think everyone should know whether or not their employees have the wherewithal to be able to save to withstand financial shocks, and then really understand, like, what can you do about it?
21633:14 I think this NDI measure is a really interesting one.
21733:19 It takes some time to go do it, because you have to be quite thorough and you have to really understand living expenses by location and what tax jurisdictions there are.
21833:32 But you need to create an NDI that's to a certain level where people aren't struggling to make ends meet.
21933:41 Because if people are struggling to make ends meet, they are not as productive at work.
22033:45 They're worried about, like, what am I going to do with my kids?
22133:48 My kid just got sick. I don't have health insurance.
22233:51 I think there's a spiral that occurs.
22333:54 You think you're actually saving money by paying less, but the reality is, at least in my belief system, you take care of your employees, and other things naturally flow from that.
22434:08 They are more productive.
22534:11 They love being a part of that company.
22634:15 They take care of customers better.
22734:17 And all of those things inevitably accrue to the benefit of a company in terms of how it's trying to serve its ultimate end market.
22834:28 But it starts with your employees.
22934:31 CH: So obviously you believe in this "capitalism needs an upgrade," and I think NDI is something so many companies should adopt.
23034:41 But do you think this happens through benevolent corporate activity?
23134:46 I'm channeling my inner Bernie Bro here, but I think a lot of people would be skeptical that we should trust companies to do better at this point.
23234:55 Should the government step in to raise minimum wages, do other things to protect workers in a more structured way?
23335:04 DS: Look, I think the government clearly has a role to play, and I think the private and public sectors need to work closer together to address so many of the issues that we face in our societies across the world, whether that be income inequality, environmental issues, health, protections, that kind of thing, privacy.
23435:38 But the way that I think about this is, it's very difficult for governments to regulate around this, because there are so many different ways of thinking about it.
23535:51 If I were another CEO, and this is like, it's actually in your best interest to go and do this because it's a competitive advantage.
23636:05 Like, we attract, I think, some of the best talent in the world to PayPal, because we have a mission that people believe in, that we actually are trying to make some sort of positive difference.
23736:20 I'm not saying we're the be-all and end-all, but I don't think people should shirk their responsibilities of at least making a small difference going forward.
23836:31 If enough companies did that, if enough governments did that, it would make a real difference in the world.
23936:37 And then the second thing is, you have to have values that support that.
24036:41 And those values are incredibly important.
24136:44 Those values should be all about inclusion.
24236:46 They should be about having a diverse workforce.
24336:50 They should be about financial wellness.
24436:53 And when you do that, and you attract the very best talent, then by definition, I think the single biggest competitive advantage for any company is their workforce.
24537:07 Strategies are great.
24637:11 A whole number of things are great.
24737:12 You have a great workforce that's passionate about what they're doing and is financially secure, and they will do amazing things.
24837:21 And I think it's that kind of competitive advantage that will spur companies.
24937:26 So there needs to be a set of CEOs and companies that start to move in this direction, and I believe you're beginning to see more do this.
25037:41 And once that happens, it starts to tip everything, and I think more and more need to do it to maintain their competitive positioning.
25137:51 And that may seem like a self-serving way why people are doing it, but honestly, I don't care whether they're doing it out of the goodness of their heart or they're doing it because it's competitively a disadvantage if they don't.
25238:06 Creating financial health for our employees is the goal, and we've got to get that done.
25338:14 CH: Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you think of this as a win-win, but it also sounds like you're willing to maybe think about your employees first and sell it to your shareholders later.
25438:29 Whitney is -- oh sorry, go ahead.
25538:32 DS: No, no, no -- I was just going to say, I actually do believe that, and I think the idea of a multistakeholder capitalism, that is a time for today, and we cannot just think that we have one stakeholder that we need to satisfy.
25638:54 We live in our communities, we live in this world.
25739:00 To have people struggling day in and day out is not good for any company, and .
25839:08 We can only do x amount, but we can actually create financial health for our employees, and we should.
25939:17 WPR: Great. So we have so many questions coming in from the community.
26039:21 One here is from Lara Pearson, basically about whether PayPal would consider become a B Corporation.
26139:27 "Are you familiar with the B Corp movement, environmentally and socially responsible, multiple-bottom-line for profits?
26239:32 Presuming so, has PayPal considered or would it consider becoming a certified B Corporation?" DS: Yep. I'm familiar with B Corp.
26339:41 We have no intention to move to becoming a B Corporation.
26439:47 I think the values and what we are trying to do are very aligned with assuring a multistakeholder point of view, but what I really want is for this to be a movement across major corporations across the world.
26540:10 And you're not going to have major corporations around the world moving into B Corp.
26640:15 There's a lot of other side issues involved with being a B Corporation as opposed to just a publicly listed company, and so that's going to be a long way before that happens.
26740:33 And so what I'm really trying to do is encourage and demonstrate that being multistakeholder, that putting employees first, creates competitive advantage.
26840:49 And I think I'm not the only CEO who's feeling that, by the way.
26940:56 I think people like Satya Nadella from Microsoft are doing a great job, Marc Benioff from Salesforce.
27041:04 I could go through quite a list of names.
27141:08 But the list is not long enough yet, but I think there's some quite important names and individuals around the world who are now talking about multistakeholder capitalism, and I think that's an important element as we think about our economies and way of life looking forward.
27241:34 WPR: And there was so much interest also in your net disposable income program and a lot of questions around that, and one which I think is along these same lines from Juan Enriquez asking about a rational way to address extreme income disparities.
27341:47 And perhaps you could expand beyond this program, just sort of ways that we might think about this in a smarter way moving forward.
27441:57 DS: Yeah.
27542:02 Well, there's no easy solution, or it would have been done.
27642:08 So I think there are a couple things that I think about that may not fully address extreme income disparities.
27742:16 Again, I try to think pragmatically about these things, and, like, what can we really do to start to address this?
27842:26 And again, I think about, if we could take one step and then another step, then you're starting your journey, and without getting overwhelmed by how far away the end state is.
27942:41 So one, I think companies need to take care of their employees, and I think that will immediately help to address some of these income disparities.
28042:50 Number two, I do think that, ironically, if you have less money, it costs you more to manage and move it, which, think about that: the less money you have, if you're outside the financial system, the more you spend to manage and move your money.
28143:16 And I think that technology is at least a foundational way for us to think about how do we cut the basic costs of managing and moving money by 50 to 70 percent, like [check-cashing], sending remittances, which are such a huge, important part of the world's economy.
28243:43 You know, you do it a traditional way, you go into a store and send the remittance to another store and somebody goes and picks it up.
28343:52 First of all, incredibly time-consuming, and it can cost between eight and 12 percent of that remittance amount that you're sending.
28444:00 So if you're sending a hundred dollars, the recipient who so desperately needs it is getting 88 to 90 dollars.
28544:08 If you do that electronically, digital wallet to digital wallet, that can be like three percent, so you can get 97 dollars from that.
28644:17 And so I think there are ways of addressing the costs.
28744:23 As I mentioned, there is so much money spent on unnecessary fees and high interest rates, and if we can drop that by 20 percent, 30 percent, the amount of money we can return to vulnerable populations is quite large and will start to make a difference.
28844:43 WPR: That's great.
28944:44 We have a ton of questions from the audience, just one more before we turn things back over to Corey with her final questions.
29044:50 This one is from Anna Tunkel, which is just, I think, as we are rounding to the end of the interview here, "What are you most optimistic about, and what do you see as the biggest opportunities for 'Building Back Better' after COVID?" DS: Well, I mean, one thing I'm actually optimistic about -- and I've always been a believer in the human spirit and the power of an individual to make a difference.
29145:24 I know that sounds very cliché, but I truly believe it, and I think every one of us can make a difference.
29245:31 But here's what I'm seeing.
29345:33 I'm beginning to see that at a much larger scale than I've ever seen before.
29445:38 You know, we have different platforms, either the PayPal platform or the Venmo platform, Venmo here in the US, PayPal across the world.
29545:46 The amount of giving that's happening through those platforms, whether it be to local businesses, to artists, to musicians, to bartenders, to places of worship, to schools, to NGOs, to charities has exploded on the platform, exploded.
29646:09 We have helped to raise on the PayPal platform since COVID-19 struck 2.8 billion dollars for NGOs and charities -- 2.8 billion.
29746:23 That's incredible, the amount of generosity that is pouring out from the global community around this.
29846:32 And we're just seeing people randomly pay it forward.
29946:38 Somebody gives 20 dollars to a bartender, and that bartender takes 10 dollars of that and gives it to somebody else.
30046:46 And we're watching that over our platform, and that gives me a sense of optimism.
30146:54 I also feel like this period of time has exposed a number of things that were happening but were invisible, and I think when things become visible, that's when you can start to address them, and I think there's a lot of attention on some issues that should have had attention before, but vulnerable populations don't have as loud a voice as others, and now that voice is being heard, because you can't ignore it.
30247:28 And hopefully, that will create progress against some of these structural inequalities that have been there for a long time.
30347:42 WPR: That's wonderful.
30447:44 And there's so much interest online.
30547:47 You have some other questions to ask as well.
30647:51 CH: So I think we have one more from our community from Jacqueline Ashby.
30747:56 Anna sort of stole my last question, which was to restore our faith in humanity.
30848:03 But, there's so much interest coming in about NDI.
30948:06 Is there a way for people to learn more, for you to share your study and your methodology?
31048:12 DS: Happy to do so.
31148:14 There is nothing proprietary about it.
31248:16 We would love for this to be -- look, and this may not be the be-all and end-all measurement.
31348:25 It's the best one we could come up with, but if working within the community, we can evolve it and think about maybe things that it missed or maybe things that could be done better, that would be fantastic.
31448:40 I don't know the best way of doing that.
31548:43 I'll leave that to Corey and Whitney to help me think that through, but of course we'd be willing to share it.
31648:50 There is nothing about that that I don't want to share.
31748:55 CH: Sounds like a good TED Talk.
31849:00 Thank you so much, Dan. This has been a super-interesting conversation.
31949:05 I think we could talk for another hour, but thank you so much for being here.
32049:11 DS: Thank you, Corey. Thank you, Whitney. Thank you, everybody.
32149:14 WPR: Thank you, Dan. Thank you.