PayPal Announces PayPal.me, An Even Faster Payment Service

Paypal has announced the introduction of a new service which intends to make sending money to friends, family, and colleagues much easier, allowing Paypal users to transfer money between peers via a simple link, reports Engadget.

Upon signing up for the service, existing Paypal account holders will be given a username that also functions as a hyperlink URL. The PayPal URL can then be sent through any messaging service – text, email, instant messenger, a social media post, blog, or on the web.

For example, the URL would contain the amount of money at the end of the address, and a request would read in a message as “PayPal.me/username/20.” The recipient would then follow the link from their mobile phone, tablet, or computer, which would lead them to a Paypal web form. They would just enter the amount, touch or click SEND, and money will be sent to the relevant PayPal account.

There are some popular existing mobile apps that already offer peer-to-peer payment facilities such as Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Square Cash, and Venmo, which Paypal acquired in 2013. But Paypal is keen to extend their web-oriented system across mobile platforms with much more efficient, faster, and convenient user functionality.

It may seem as though PayPal is late to an already crowded market in peer-to-peer payments, but the tech giant has a major advantage over competitors – a large base of existing PayPal customers. The findings of Forrester Research,as reported by Fortune, show that 73 percent of adult Internet users in the U.S. who choose to make digital payments to friends and family already do so through PayPal.

It may seem counter-intuitive for Paypal to launch a service that is so similar to Venmo and one that will seemingly compete with a business it already owns, but speaking to Gizmodo, a Paypal spokesman was keen to downplay any potential conflict.

“PayPal.Me is not intended as a competitive product, but rather a complimentary one – PayPal is dedicated to letting its users pay however they want, whatever way is easiest for them, and PayPal.Me offers another choice to help make paying friends (or getting paid back) easier.”

Despite commissioning payments worth $2.4 billion last year and being especially popular among millennials, Venmo is currently only available in the U.S. This leaves PayPal with a lot of room for capitalization and growth potential in untapped foreign markets.

The principal aim of this new PayPal venture is adoption, assimilation and integration of Venmo’s USP – its URL payment technique – within broader PayPal operations outside of the U.S. market. Paypal already has a giant market footprint spanning 18 international territories around the world, which will provide the perfect foundation for this expansion.

According to PayPal research, the “Money Habits Study,” more than $51 billion in IOUs is owed to friends and family around the world, and PayPal believes the chief obstacle to settlement of these informal debts, is embarrassment and the social awkwardness that can arise when directly asking those close to you for money.

PayPal.me will operate in the same countries as the existing Paypal network – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.S., and the UK.

[Image via PayPal]