LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS AMERICAS 2017: PayPal CEO Dan Schulman believes mobile is on track to “fundamentally redefine” both the retail and financial service industries.

According to Schulman, mobile connectivity and capabilities are already blurring the lines between online and offline experiences in China and other countries. Mobile, therefore, is set to obliterate the distinction entirely, he said.

“There’s definitely a secular shift happening in retail, and it’s caused by mobile,” Schulman said. “We are entering into a retail era, which I call ‘Digital Commerce’, that’s going to be defined by the mobile phone. Retailers are going to start to use mobile to redefine the entire retail experience from discovery through purchasing through delivery, redefining their overall value proposition.”

Schulman said mobile will also revolutionise the financial services industry, transforming basic consumer transactions to make them more accessible, cheaper, and more secure.

“For consumers, democratising financial services for underserved segments of the market means that managing and moving money should be a right for all citizens and not a just a privilege for the affluent,” he said. “Mobile has the potential to change hundreds of millions of lives, if not billions of lives, if it’s connected to the right applications and the right platforms.”

Approximately 70 million adults in the US are underserved by the financial sector, reflecting what Schulman called a “crisis in our country” and around the globe. Around 1.6 billion people across the globe could gain access to the formal financial system through financial technology, he added.