Consumers are taking to their smartphones to buy, pay and shop in large numbers, growth that eBay has seen first hand, eBay CEO John Donahoe told CNBC from the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona.
"Consumers are embracing mobile in big ways," said Donahoe. "Mobile payments are exploding. It grew over 600 percent last year, with almost $4 billion of mobile payments volume. What's happening is consumers, all of us, we've got our mobile phones with us seven days a week, 24 hours a day and we are increasingly using them when we shop and when we pay."
Seventy million people have downloaded eBay mobile applications, and with $5 billion in volume last year alone, almost one in every 10 dollars bought on eBay is now bought through a mobile app, said Donahoe.
EBay is also working to implement the company's payment service, PayPal, with retailers. Home Depot is one retailer that will offer PayPal as a standard feature of payment in all of its 2,000 stores by the end of February. By the end of 2012, PayPal will be in 10 to 15 different retailers nationwide, and will coninue to grow globally in 2013, Donahoe said.
"Retailers want a better relationship with their consumers across different channels, across online, mobile and in-store channels, so that's why they're bringing PayPal to retail locations," he said.
It's PayPal's capability to give consumers choice that makes it such an attractive payment service for retailers, said Donahoe. Consumers using PayPal in a retail store will be able to pay by typing in their phone number, as well as a personal identification, or PIN, number.
"We see the growth in mobile, we see the growth online. We've said that business will double over the next three years and that doesn't include any growth coming from offline or point of sale," said Donahoe. "So I'm enormously optimistic about this business, we're investing a lot in innovation and I think the fun part is just beginning."