This year, several U.S. lawmakers, including Nancy Pelosi, Tommy Tuberville, Michael McCaul, Diana Harshbarger, Josh Gottheimer, and Ro Khanna, have divested either their entire or partial positions in PayPal stock. Curiously, PayPal shares are currently trading at their lowest levels since 2017, despite the company's doubled annual revenue since then. This raises questions about why lawmakers are eager to sell their PayPal stock at near record lows. Coincidentally, the Federal Reserve is making strides in launching FedNow, its instant bank transfer service. This article explores the potential implications of these events.
The FedNow Initiative
The Federal Reserve has been diligently working on introducing its new instant bank transfer service called FedNow, set to go live as early as next month. Despite the Federal Reserve's assurances that FedNow is not meant to replace popular money transfer options like Venmo, Cash App, Square, or PayPal, some observations cast doubt on this claim.
Comparing Transaction Costs
On average, payment processors like Venmo and PayPal charge businesses around 3% per transaction. However, the transaction cost for FedNow is significantly lower, at 4.5 cents. This presents a substantial opportunity for businesses and customers to save billions of dollars annually. Even when compared to the most affordable options available today, such as Visa and Mastercard, whose average processing fee is approximately $0.15, FedNow's transaction cost is three times lower.
While the CEOs of PayPal and other payment processors have downplayed the potential risk posed by FedNow, recent months have witnessed these executives selling millions in shares. It is important to note that this does not imply an immediate disappearance of these companies, but it does raise questions about their future performance.
Observing the Market
With the imminent launch of FedNow next month, it becomes crucial to closely monitor the actions of lawmakers and executives involved in the payment processing industry. Their selling of significant amounts of shares, coupled with companies trading at high price-to-earnings ratios, suggests a need for vigilance.
The divestment of PayPal stock by U.S. lawmakers, along with the upcoming launch of FedNow, raises interesting questions about the future of payment processors. The significantly lower transaction costs associated with FedNow compared to established options like PayPal suggest potential changes in the payment landscape. While it is essential to monitor the situation closely, it is important to note that the impact of FedNow on existing companies may not be immediate or dramatic. Nonetheless, the evolving dynamics warrant attention from both investors and industry observers.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. It is recommended to conduct thorough research and consult with a professional financial advisor before making any investment decisions