To say 2020 was a year like no other might sound like a cliche, but in this case, it isn't hyperbole. The ongoing shift to digital payments accelerated on a large scale and PayPal Holdings (PYPL 0.64%) was there to answer the call. As a result of this trend, the company reported a record number of new customers using its digital payment services.

On this clip from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 4, "The Wrap" host Jason Hall and Fool.com contributor Danny Vena discuss PayPal's soaring customer metrics and how the growing operating leverage feeds the company's future success.

10 stocks we like better than PayPal Holdings
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and PayPal Holdings wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

 

*Stock Advisor returns as of November 20, 2020

 

Jason Hall: Well, and their operating leverage, it's enormous how every user, every customer that's added, incrementally creates more value than the one who was added before them. To me this underpins why I think PayPal is still such an incredible business. Talk, Danny, a little bit about some of those customer metrics.

Danny Vena: The customer metrics were, again, as strong, if not stronger than ever.

In the fourth quarter, the company added 16 million net new active accounts. Now, an active account is one that does some transaction on PayPal's network over the course of the trailing-12-month period. Those net new active accounts are up 72% year over year. That brings the total to 377 million, up 24%.

Now to put that in perspective, the entire population of the United States is less than 330 million. The number of customers on PayPal is essentially larger than the entire population of the United States.

Those customers are using PayPal as a payment method more often. They had roughly 41 payments per active account over the trailing-12-month period. That was up just 1%.

What's skewing that number a little bit is the fact that PayPal acquired Honey last year, which essentially helps online customers find discounts on websites that they frequent. If you adjust for Honey, it was actually closer to 43 payments instead of 41 over the trailing-12-month period, up about 5%. Again, it seems like every category that you look at, the financial metrics, the operating metrics, the customer metrics, they're all moving in the right direction. Which is why PayPal stock was bid up about 7% today.