PayPal registered a record number of users on its mobile payments platform Venmo in Q1 2018, despite facing stiff competition from new challengers including Apple and the US bank-driven brand Zelle.

During the company’s Q1 earnings call, CEO Dan Schulman (pictured) said Venmo – which is largely used for mobile P2P payments – was gaining traction as the “preferred way for millennials to manage and move their money.”

Venmo user numbers hit a new high, the company said without offering specific figures. It did, however, reveal the platform processed $12.3 billion during Q1, up 80 per cent year-on-year.

After acquiring the brand alongside parent Braintree in 2013, PayPal expanded the remit of the platform, including by introducing merchant payments. Shulman said the service was accepted by 2 million retailers in the US by the end of Q1.

Its core proposition, however, remains P2P payments, a sector Venmo faced increase competition in over the last 12 months with the entry of bank-backed brand Zelle and the expansion of Apple Pay to include payments. This is in addition to social media companies including Facebook and Snap offering similar services to users.

Mobile boost
In PayPal’s Q1 statement Schulman reiterated previous comments highlighting the growing importance of mobile payments to the company’s proposition including those at physical retailers, a sector opened by tie-ups with specialist providers.

The company processed $49 billion of mobile payments in the quarter, up 52 per cent on Q1 2017. Schulman said mobile now represented 37 per cent of the total payment volume processed by PayPal.

Across its complete portfolio of businesses, PayPal’s net income for Q1 was $692 million, up 30 per cent year-on-year.