What happened

Shares of PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) jumped 15% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, following the digital payment leader's strong third-quarter results.  

So what

PayPal's total payment volume surged 38% year over year to $247 billion, as shoppers flocked to e-commerce sites during the coronavirus crisis. More than 15 million people created new PayPal accounts during the third quarter, bringing the fintech giant's total customer account base to 361 million by the end of the period.

A person is making a mobile payment on a smartphone.

The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the trend away from cash and toward digital transactions. Image source: Getty Images.

PayPal's revenue, in turn, climbed 25% to $5.46 billion. Its adjusted earnings per share, meanwhile, soared 41% to $1.07. "Our growth reinforces the essential role we play in our customers' daily lives during this pandemic," CEO Dan Schulman said in a press release.

Now what

Digital payments and e-commerce go hand in hand. By making shopping online easier, faster, and more secure, PayPal is a key enabler of the retail industry's shift to online channels.

With e-commerce sales still representing only about 15% of total retail sales in the U.S. -- and an even lower percentage in many other areas of the world -- PayPal has long runways for growth. Thus, its stock's gains in November could be just part of a far larger upward move in the coming years.

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