PayPal to create 1,000 jobs in Dundalk

Wed, Feb 22, 2012, 00:00

IN THE first jobs announcement of such a scale in many years, global online payments firm PayPal, which is owned by eBay, announced yesterday that is to create 1,000 jobs in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Recruitment will commence in July with 300 people to be employed by the end of the year. This will bring the company’s total employment in Ireland up to 2,400 by 2016, making it one of the largest internet employers in the country.

Louise Phelan, a vice-president of global operations for PayPal, said the expansion was necessary to support the double digit growth the Irish operations were experiencing.

PayPal is in “final negotiations” with three different office facilities, said Ms Phelan, and a decision will be taken shortly on where PayPal will locate in Dundalk.

Barry O’Leary, chief executive of the IDA, which will support PayPal’s investment, yesterday welcomed the announcement, noting that it had been a couple of years since a jobs announcement of such a size was announced, but that the IDA has plenty more projects in its pipeline – albeit not of a similar scale.

The new operation will be PayPal’s third in Ireland, complementing its existing locations in Dublin. The new centre in Dundalk will be responsible for customer service, risk prevention, financial operations, merchant services and sales across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

According to Ms Phelan, the new recruits will work on creating the “future of money”.

“Our vision is to help people pay for things anytime, anywhere and on any type of electronic device.”

She said the new jobs may be open to both graduates and those currently unemployed, but 50 per cent of the roles will require knowledge of a second language.

When asked whether there were any risk factors which might preclude the actual creation of 1,000 jobs, Ms Phelan said “absolutely not”.

PayPal had also considered Limerick as a location for the new operation with the company reported to have considered computer giant Dell’s old plant in Raheen.

Ms Phelan said the company had considered many locations in Europe and Ireland, but opted for Ireland due to the “talent” available.

Dundalk was an attractive option due to its proximity to PayPal’s existing management team in Blanchardstown, she said.

PayPal opened its Irish operation with 25 staff in 2003. It expanded significantly in the interim, and last year invested €15 million in a centre of excellence in Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Globally, PayPal has been growing at a blistering pace, with plans to double its revenue to about $7 billion by 2013.

While it is currently introducing PayPal as a payments method into stores, competition is heating up from the likes of Google, as well as credit card operators such as Visa.

ICT Ireland, the business group that represents the high-tech sector, welcomed yesterday’s announcement.

Director Paul Sweetman revealed that 1,715 jobs have been announced in the tech sector since the beginning of 2012, while 4,000 were announced in the whole of 2011.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland said yesterday that US companies have created over 2,000 new jobs in Ireland since the start of the year.