PayPal has been talking about its “super app” plans for some time, having recently told investors its upcoming digital wallet and payments app had been given a go for launch. Today, the first version of that app is officially being introduced, offering a combination of financial tools including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. The company is also announcing its partnership with Synchrony Bank for its new high-yield savings account, PayPal Savings.
These changes shift PayPal from being largely a payments utility that’s tacked on other offerings here and there, to being a more fully fleshed out finance app.
Paypal explores launch of own stablecoin in crypto push
Hidden code and images show work on what is dubbed a “PayPal Coin.” The code indicates such a coin would be backed by the U.S. dollar.
A PayPal spokeswoman said that the images and code inside of the PayPal app stemmed from a recent internal hackathon — an event in which engineers team up to quickly explore and build new products that may never see a public release — within the company’s blockchain, crypto and digital currencies division. That means the ultimate logo, name and features could change in its public product form.
PayPal has engaged in a major cryptocurrency effort in recent months, launching new features to buy and hold the digital coins as well as the ability to pay for purchases using the monies.
Google’s president of commerce Bill Ready told Bloomberg that:
Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to […] As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.
Google Pay is an online payment system developed by Google to allow in-app, online and contactless purchases on mobile devices including Android phones, tablets and watches.
As part of the overhaul, Google will focus more on being a “comprehensive digital wallet” that includes digital tickets, airline passes and vaccine passports, Ready said.
Following the news, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) spiked to a high of $42,478 (from a 24-hour low of $41,254) before falling back down to $41,887 at the time of writing according to Coinmarketcap.
Google has been dipping its toes in the crypto space for quite some time, partnering with several crypto companies through 2021.
Paypal explores launch own crypto push-on
PayPal Explores Launch of Own Stablecoin in Crypto Push
PayPal Holdings Inc. is exploring the launch of its own stablecoin as part of its cryptocurrency push, according to the company, which confirmed the development after evidence of the move was discovered inside its iPhone app.
“We are exploring a stablecoin; if and when we seek to move forward, we will of course, work closely with relevant regulators,” Jose Fernandez da Ponte, senior vice president of crypto and digital currencies at PayPal, said in a statement to Bloomberg News. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies backed and priced by the value of an existing currency or commodity.
Evidence of the company’s exploration into building a stablecoin was first discovered in PayPal’s app by developer Steve Moser and shared with Bloomberg.
Paypal explores launch own crypto pusha
In April 2021, Google Pay announced a new partnership with global crypto exchange Gemini. The update allowed Gemini users to purchase Bitcoin through Google Pay using fiat currency on a debit or credit card.
The tech giant also partnered with Coinbase in June, allowing customers of the exchange to pay for goods and services through Google Pay using their Coinbase Card.
Users also were able to gain crypto rebates of up to 4% for their shopping.
In Oct, a partnership between crypto exchange Bakkt and Google allowed customers of the exchange to purchase goods and services using some select cryptocurrencies through their Google Pay wallet.
As for Paypal, it appears that the fintech company will be one man down as it explores the creation of its own stablecoin.
Paypal explores launch own crypto pushen
This addition could bring PayPal more in line with PayPal-owned Venmo, which already offers the ability to add notes to payments and make comments.
Messaging also ties into PayPal’s new Shopping hub, which is where the company is finally putting to good use its 2019 $4 billion Honey acquisition. Honey’s core features are now becoming a part of the PayPal mobile experience, including personalized deals and exclusive rewards.
Image Credits: PayPal
PayPal users will be able to browse the discounts and offers inside the app, then shop and transact through the in-app browser.
The deals can be saved to the wallet for future use, so they can be applied if shopping later in the app or online. Customers will also be able to join a loyalty program, where they can earn cashback and PayPal shopping credit on their purchases.
All the reasons why you should launch a credit or debit card
As PayPal has said, the new app is laying the groundwork for other new products in the quarters to come. The biggest initiative on its roadmap is a plan to enter the investment space, to rival other mobile investing apps, like Robinhood.
When this arrives, it will support the ability to buy stocks, fractional stocks and ETFs, PayPal says.
It will also later add support for paying with QR codes in an offline environment, and tools for using PayPal to save while in stores.
The updated app is rolling out starting today in the U.S. as a staggered release that will complete in the weeks ahead. However, PayPal Savings won’t be available immediately — it will arrive in the U.S.
It now features a personalized dashboard offering an overview of the customer’s account. The wallet tab lets users manage Direct Deposits and connect funding sources like bank accounts and debit and credit cards alongside the ability to enroll in PayPal’s own debit, credit and cash cards.
And a finance tab provides access to the high-yield savings and the previously available crypto capabilities, which allows users to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
The payments tab, meanwhile, will hold much of PayPal’s traditional feature set, including peer-to-peer payments, international remittances, charitable and nonprofit giving, plus now bill pay and a two-way messaging feature that allows users to request payments or say thank you after receiving a payment — whether that’s between friends and family or between merchants and customers.
Chime or Varo, as it will now also include support for paycheck Direct Deposits through PayPal’s bank partners with two-day early access, bill pay and more.
These features could make PayPal more competitive, as getting paid earlier has been one of the bigger draws among those considering digital banking apps instead of using traditional banks.
In addition to shifting their paychecks to Payal, customers’ PayPal funds can then be used for things that are a part of daily life, like paying their bills, saving or shopping, for example.
PayPal’s new ‘super app,’ to include messaging, is ready to launch
The enhanced bill pay feature lets customers track, view and pay bills from thousands of companies, including utilities, TV and internet, insurance, credit cards, phone and more, PayPal says.
PayPal first entered the cryptocurrency business in October 2020 with a service that allows users to buy, hold and sell from their existing PayPal accounts. The service launched in the U.S. with support for bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, expanding to the U.K.
“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly,” Dan Schulman, president and chief executive officer of PayPal, said at the time.
Schulman’s words aptly fit any proposed PayPal stablecoin.
Should PayPal push ahead with a stablecoin, the path may not be easy.
PayPal has announced it is exploring the launch of its own stablecoin as part of its cryptocurrency push.
Evidence of the company’s exploration into building a stablecoin was first discovered in PayPal’s app by developer Steve Moser. Hidden code and images show work on what is dubbed a ‘PayPal Coin’.
The code indicates such a coin would be backed by the US dollar.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies backed and priced by the value of an existing currency or commodity.
The images and code inside of the PayPal app stemmed from an internal hackathon within the company’s blockchain, crypto and digital currencies division.
However, that’s lower than top rivals in the digital banking market offer, like Chime (0.50%), Varo (starts at 0.20%, but users can qualify to get 3.00% APY), Marcus (0.50%), Ally (0.50%), ONE (1.00% or 3.00% on Auto-Save transactions), and others. However, the rate may appeal to those who are switching from a traditional bank, where rates tend to be lower.
PayPal believes its high-yield offering will be able to compete not based on the APY alone, but on the strength of its combined offerings.
Image Credits: PayPal
“We know that about half of customers in the United States don’t even have a savings account, much less one with a very competitive rate,” notes PayPal SVP of Consumer, Julian King.