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[paypal] Big Banks Roll Out Instant Payments Service; Should PayPal Be Worried?

Whaaat?

A number of huge U.S. banks are joining a new service that aims to bring real-time, peer-to-peer payments to consumers, but it’s unclear if the service will actually be able to take on the incumbent, trendy peer-to-peer service Venmo, which is owned by PayPal.

Tell me more!

The banks are hopping onto a service from Early Warning, which unlike Venmo will deliver money from one account to another in seconds. Venmo transactions, in comparison, take around one to three days to be finalized.

[On the other hand…]

“Banks have been trying to create PayPal competitors for more than 15 years with spectacularly little success,” said Wedbush analyst Gil Luria.” In fact clearXchange has been around for several years with no discernible results.”

The thing is, consumers really like Venmo already. During the month of January, more than $1 billion was transferred on Venmo, more than 2.5 times the amount transferred on Venmo in January 2015 and more than ten times the amount transferred on Venmo in January 2014.

For now the only real differentiator is speed, and that may not be the case for very long, considering that the network Venmo uses to transfer funds plans to begin processing payments more quickly in September, according to Reuters.

My 2 cents:

At this point, the mechanics of peer-to-peer cash transactions isn’t rocket science, which warrants the question: why are financial institutions taking so long? The idea of substituting PayPal or Venmo might not be the crux of this debate though. Banks are (still) where people keep their money, so PayPal still needs bank cooperation (no, not being Venmo compatible does not drive one’s banking decisions… yet). With this ability to foreclose would-be competitors in fintech, it looks like banks could easily outsource the expenses that’d go into investing into their own (likely unpopular) p2p cash transfer product to existing and emerging fintech players. Let the best and most popular player have access to accounts!

Full article

[paypal] Paypal Overhauls Its Mobile App / Stop Using Venmo

Whaaat?

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)!

Full article: PayPal

Full article: Venmo

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