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PayPal, Square stocks fall after WSJ report says Amazon may use Alexa for peer-to-peer payments

Shares of PayPal Holdings Inc. and Square Inc. are down 2.1% and 3.5%, respectively, in Friday trading, after a Wall Street Journal report said that Amazon.com Inc. is potentially interested in using its Alexa voice assistant to facilitate peer-to-peer payments. The Wall Street Journal story said that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told employees last year to make financial services a top priority, citing someone familiar with the matter. PayPal’s Venmo is considered to be the pioneer in online peer-to-peer payments, while Square, Apple Inc. , and the big banks also offer digital money transfer options for individuals. PayPal attributes its growth partly to its emphasis on forging partnerships in the tech and financial services sphere, and the company currently partners with Visa Inc. , Facebook Inc. , and Apple, among others, but doesn’t have a partnership with Amazon. PayPal announced a peer-to-peer payments “skill” for Alexa that enables people to participate in voice-controlled PayPal transfers. PayPal shares are up 76% over the past 12 months, compared with a 12% gain for the S&P 500 .

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