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PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL): Is this Fintech Giant a Strong Buy Right Now?

We recently compiled a list of the 10 Best Fintech Stocks To Buy Now. In this article, we are going to take a look at where PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) stands against the other fintech stocks. If interested, you can also read our piece on the 12 Best Financial and Fintech ETFs to Buy.

Fintech services have become an integral part of our lives in recent years, greatly changing the finance sector. Consumers no longer need to queue up in banks to get their statements, be involved in money transfers, or carry heavy wallets to pay for their groceries in cash only. Mobile banking, credit cards, and digital wallets have revolutionized how people manage their finances.

Global Fintech Industry

A report released in May last year by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has projected the fintech industry to grow by over six times to reach a size of $1.5 trillion by 2030, from its current level of $245 billion. The sector’s share of the financial services industry is also forecast to jump from 2% to 7% during this period, with Asia-Pacific set to go past the United States to become the world’s largest fintech market.

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The fintech industry in Asia-Pacific is set to grow 27% between now and then, with China, India, and Indonesia leading the drive due to their sizable unbanked population, and a large number of small businesses in these countries. North America, in particular, the United States will, however, continue to remain a critical market and lead innovation in the industry. The market is also projected to significantly grow in the emerging economies of Latin America and Africa.

That said, while the market is set to grow over the coming few years, 2023 was a difficult year in comparison to the boom in the preceding years. According to KPMG, it was the slowest year in the global fintech industry since 2017, with around $114 billion in worldwide investments across 4,547 agreements. Financial experts say high inflation and ongoing military conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East led investors to become cautious with their spending.

The decline in fintech investments was noticed across various regions, with Asia-Pacific experiencing its biggest slump from $51 billion in 2022 to just under $11 billion in 2023. Investments also halved in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from $49.6 billion to $24.5 billion. In the Americas, investment slowed 22% during the period. For 2024, the American credit rating agency Fitch Rating anticipates mixed results for fintech companies in North America and Europe, with revenue growth expected, but EBITDA margins likely to remain muted.

Rise of Gen AI in Fintech

Generative AI, or Gen AI, has taken much of the global financial services industry by storm. According to McKinsey, the technology is likely to add between $200-340 billion to the market over the next few years. Fintech firms are actively keeping up with the trend, and making sure they adapt to Gen AI’s capabilities and risks, both. Between 2022 and 2023, the share of fintech corporations that had improved their artificial intelligence capabilities had increased from 30% to 70%. On the other hand, about 90% of the fintech companies surveyed in March this year by McKinsey stated that they had established centralized Gen AI functions. According to experts, the use of this technology is poised to make firms in the fintech industry more agile and efficient over the coming years.

Methodology

Insider Monkey’s database of 920 hedge funds was assessed, as of the first quarter of 2024. We have chosen the 10 best fintech stocks to buy now based on the hedge fund sentiment towards each stock. The stocks are ranked in ascending order of hedge fund holders in each company.

Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter's strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

A consumer in a cafe paying for goods using a mobile payment app.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 82

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) is one of the best fintech stocks to buy now. The company is arguably the leader going around in the industry as far as online payments are concerned. During the first quarter of 2024, it generated a free cash flow of $1.8 billion, which will allow the company further flexibility to pursue opportunities that come its way.

It has already been venturing into the complementary side of its business. In 2020, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) acquired e-commerce company Honey for $4 billion. The American fintech giant has also made successful investments in several other big corporations, including a $750 million strategic stock purchase in MercadoLibre in 2019, and a $500 million investment in Uber during the same year.

Overall PYPL ranks 3rd on our list of the best fintech stocks to buy. You can visit 10 Best Fintech Stocks To Buy Now to see the other fintech stocks that are on hedge funds’ radar. While we acknowledge the potential of PYPL as an investment, our conviction lies in the belief that AI stocks hold greater promise for delivering higher returns, and doing so within a shorter timeframe. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than PYPL but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

 

READ NEXT: Analyst Sees a New $25 Billion “Opportunity” for NVIDIA and Jim Cramer is Recommending These 10 Stocks in June.

 

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.