Paying people through PayPal just got a bit easier.The company rolled out another person-to person-payments service Tuesday: PayPal.Me, a barebones payments app that uses a URL to allow people to collect and send money to people they know.
Rather than a standalone app like the PayPal-owned Venmo, PayPal.Me is essentially an extension of PayPal’s existing request money feature. Those who opt in to the feature set up a personalized URL that is linked to their PayPal account. Once set up, anyone who views the link is able to send money through their own PayPal account.
The process of sending and receiving payments are more or less the same as any other PayPal transaction. Users must log in for each transaction and transactions are limited to $10,000 for those that have verified their accounts.
Though its core functionality is nearly identical to Venmo, Meron Colbeci, PayPal’s senior director of global consumer product, says PayPal.Me stands out from PayPal’s other personal payments offerings because of its potential appeal to groups of people, and the minimal setup effort involved.
“This is a very very good use case for group collections,” Colbeci told Mashable. “One of the key advantages here is that you’ve got the PayPal account, which really funds these transactions and by just using your username and password you can easily go through the checkout and you don’t have to enter all of your debit or credit card information.”
Group payments aside, PayPal has made it clear it wants to own as many payments on as many platforms as it can. Making person to person payments even a little easier, especially for non-millennials who may not use the emoji-filled Venmo, could stand to help PayPal get a bit closer to that goal.
PayPal.Me is available now in the United States as well as Germany, the UK, Australia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria.
PayPal president Dan Schulman wants to make a payments platform that every merchant and consumer will use — regardless of device.
The 57-year-old executive, who previously spent four years at American Express, said as much on Thursday during a PayPal media event in San Francisco: “You’re going to see a fundamental change over the next three, five, 10 years, with more of it going to mobile and point-of-sale checkout.”
Schulman, of course, wants PayPal to lead the charge in that transition. As part of his strategy, the company announced on Thursday the ability to link its OneTouch web and mobile experiences, as well as an integration with Bigcommerce, an Austin-based startup that provides e-commerce and shopping-cart software.
OneTouch for the web, introduced in April, lets all 165 million PayPal users make purchases from third-party websites without having to go through the lengthy process of manually inputting their payment information.
The ability to link OneTouch web and mobile experiences means PayPal users don’t have to have the company’s app on their smartphones, provided they’ve already logged onto PayPal via any mobile device at least once before. Being able to link OneTouch on mobile and web simplifies the mobile-shopping experience for PayPal users.
“It’s a leap forward — all the consumer has to do is opt in,” Schulman said of OneTouch to Mashable in April.
Meanwhile, the Bigcommerce partnership is yet another way for PayPal to bridge the online-to-offline experience for merchants, by offering software that helps small businesses get online and running more quickly. Bigcommerce currently powers more than 90,000 stores in over 100 countries, and processes $5 billion in transactions annually.
PayPal vice-president Bill Ready also referenced Paydiant, the white-label payments and loyalty-rewards platform that PayPal purchased earlier this year for a reported $280 million. Ready did not elaborate on how exactly Paydiant would be used, but suggested its technology would help merchants and retailers engage with shoppers in-store well before checkout by potentially offering, for example, coupons and discounts on their smartphones.
“By the time you get to the register, you’ve missed [the] chance to influence consumer[s],” he explained.
In many ways, 2015 is critical for PayPal, which is being spun off from eBay later this year. Thursday’s event was an opportunity for Schulman to offer a look at his longterm vision for the company.
Although the 17-year-old payments business has long been eBay’s fastest growing business unit — with double-digit revenue growth year-over-year — that has slowed down, partly due to increasing competition on mobile from companies, such as Apple, Square and Stripe.
In fact, a recent study by 451Research comparing consumer interest in Apple Pay versus PayPal strongly suggested that as of March, more people planned to use Apple Pay rather than PayPal’s mobile offerings: 45% compared to 28%, respectively.