Not only does it have to comply with what could soon be increased regulation in the tech sector, but also with heavy-handed compliance standards in the finance space. That's the nature of the company as a fintech firm -- but it's no sweat to San Jose-based PayPal, according to Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready.
"We're in a heavily regulated space. So unlike other tech companies where regulation may be a newer thing, we have as our core business something that is heavily regulated," Ready told TheStreet.
PayPal works closely with banks and credit card companies through a growing list of partnerships. It counts as business comrades the likes of Visa Inc. (V) - Get Report and Mastercard Inc. (MA) - Get Report , plus thousands of smaller businesses using its platform. With a growing portfolio of business units, including a new one aimed at helping the unbanked access financial services, PayPal has no choice but to follow the rules of everyone from the Securities and Exchange Commission to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
While PayPal has worked to meet regulatory standards in finance (Ready said its compliance department is ever-growing), its existence as a tech company means it has become the subject of scrutiny through a closer lens lately.
Speaking shortly after Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report CEO Mark Zuckerberg concluded his testimony to members of Congress regarding both his company's recent Cambridge Analytica data breach and the broader issue of data privacy in tech, PayPal's Ready said, "I think everybody is going to be taking a closer look at privacy and all that needs to be done."
He pointed to GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, a new standard to be enacted in the European Union in May aimed at strengthening data protection for citizens in the bloc. While Ready wouldn't go as far as to say the U.S. might consider a standard as broad as GDPR, he noted that the regulation could become a goal toward which other countries might work.
"I think GDPR in Europe gives a lens into what thoughtful privacy regulation could look like," Ready said. "I suspect it will be the case that governments around the world will want to think about how they regulate privacy. GDPR is one of the better examples of thoughtful regulation on privacy."
"Regulators generally have the consumer's best interest in mind. If you work closely with a regulator and you want to go do good things for your customer, your interest and the regulator's interest often times are very closely aligned," Ready said. "It's just a matter of coming together and working through those things."
"We work closely with regulators," Ready said. "It's an evolving landscape, but we will evolve with the landscape."