Receiving money from a friend, client or anyone else on PayPal just got a little bit easier. Today, the company announced the launch of PayPal.Me, a personal, vanity PayPal link that makes it easy to remind people to send you money.
The idea behind the peer-to-payment service is to erase the awkwardness of getting repaid by someone. Instead of having to ask them, a user could just send his or her friend a PayPal.me link and the friend would be able to pay using their own PayPal account. It minimizes the need for conversation about something that could, theoretically, make someone uncomfortable.
PayPal.me has launched in 18 countries, including the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. Payments between two users in the U.K. will be completely free. For U.S. customers, there are no transfer fees when funds are deducted from a bank account or existing PayPal balance.
According to PayPal, there are $51 billion in IOUs from friends and family due to the hassle in chasing down debts. The company believes PayPal.me will mitigate that problem.
The structure of the URL is: paypal.me/username. PayPal has also allowed users to amend how much money they should be receiving from the payer by adding an amount at the end of the URL. For example, if someone owed $40, the URL would be: paypal.me/username/40.
While there are many applications for paying people, such as Square Cash and Google’s Android Pay, PayPal remains the largest payment platform on the Internet; therefore, its barrier of entry for paypal.me is smaller. Because each username is unique, it is likely that new ones will fill up quickly.
While PayPal.me doesn’t appear to let users transmit bitcoin, the company has had a more favorable approach to the currency than other legacy financial institutions. PayPal announced in September 2014 that it would allow merchants to start accepting bitcoin through its Braintree application through a partnership with Coinbase. It is rumored that PayPal is investigating further utilization of the blockchain as a way of decreasing fees and increasing the speed of transactions.