PayPal is building an advertising business that will leverage the troves of data it collects on consumer purchases and spending habits.

What’s happening? The digital payments giant plans to create an ad network that allows merchants and brands to target PayPal’s roughly 400 million users with personalized promotions and ads based on their transaction histories.

Why we care. Advertisers should be interested in this because PayPal has a vast amount of purchasing data from 400 million users, so this could mean sophisticated targeting and advertising across multiple channels (as Paypal plans on serving ads beyond its platforms) from one platform.

Key hires.

  • Mark Grether, formerly head of Uber’s ad business, hired as SVP/GM of PayPal’s new PayPal Ads division to develop ad formats and build out the sales team.
  • John Anderson, previously head of product/payments at Plaid, hired as SVP/GM of PayPal’s consumer group.

Details. PayPal already offers an “Advanced Offers” ad product that uses AI to serve PayPal users with targeted discounts from merchants whenever they make a purchase.

  • The company plans to expand this to sell ads to brands outside of its merchant network that could be displayed across the web and connected TV.

What they’re saying. PayPal says users can opt out of having their data included in the ad targeting.

  • “If you’re someone who’s buying products on the web, we know who is buying the products where, and we can leverage the data,” Grether told the WSJ.

Between the lines. The move follows other finance giants like JPMorgan Chase entering the retail media ad space by monetizing their customer data.

PayPal’s ad business is still nascent and may struggle to move the needle for the fintech company whose core payments processing business has higher profit margins.

The big picture. PayPal’s ad ambitions come as the company ais to rebound from recent struggles, including major layoffs and a stock slide after forecasting muted profit growth this year.