PayPal’s mobile app is getting a massive overhaul today, representing the first time in the history that the company has rebuilt its app from scratch. With the redesign, PayPal is offering a simplified experience for users who want easier ways to make peer-to-peer payments, pay in stores, order food, manage their account settings, and more.
On the other hand…
Venmo lets you send and request money but only if you deposit and withdrawal those funds through your Venmo balance. All the while, Venmo itself is essentially holding your money hostage.
Tell me more!
PayPal’s New App…
PayPal’s old version put a heavier focus on using PayPal in stores from the first launch, the new app puts the sending and receiving functions front-and-center.
It makes sense that this feature would be better highlighted in the new application, as PayPal says it has seen over 100 percent growth in this area over the past couple of years. In addition, the company reports that now 1 in 4 of its transactions take place on mobile.
The app features a cleaner, more modern color scheme, iconography, fonts, and layout which makes it better resemble something a startup trying to compete with PayPal would build rather than something from an older and established payments company.
…Sounds like Venmo
The downsides of Venmo start to make sense when you realize that Venmo isn’t just some cute little startup—it’s owned by payment Goliath PayPal. Venmo started in 2009, but it was soon gobbled up by Braintree, an enterprise-level payment processing outfit, which was in turn gobbled up by PayPal in 2013. The whole holding-money-hostage model is actually pretty similar to how PayPal has always worked, and as time goes by, the two separate services are starting to look even more similar. In fact, PayPal just redesigned its mobile apps, and boy do they look pretty Venmo-y now. The only thing that’s missing is that privacy-invading stream of emoji that shows you every transaction your friends and even random people around the world are making.
My 2 cents:
Everybody loves Venmo and most people feel ambivalent at best when it comes to PayPal. Intuition would say PayPal’s move is smart and fresh, but how far is the general user base from concluding their money is held hostage and their privacy is being flaunted? More importantly perhaps, how long until the general user base acquires the understanding of competing players and begins to move past lovable beer icons when they realize that the same fees are still charged when you use Venmo or PayPal’s future app (insert the scream face here)!