Paypal has introduced a new person-to-person payments feature which enables account holders to request money from friends, family and colleagues via a personalised URL.
PayPal.Me is being rolled out across the globe, with 18 countries in the first wave to go live. Users simply sign up for a personalised URL - PayPal.Me/name - that provides a link for recipients to click and send cash across any device.
Meron Colbeci, senior director of global product, PayPal, says: "PayPal.Me makes requesting money from groups of friends, family and colleagues suddenly so much easier and faster. It’s an instant, safe, unique link that works on any device no matter where you’re talking to people - in a text, email, instant messenger, social media post, blog, or on the web."
He points to a recent PayPal Money Habits study of 4000 consumers in the US, Canada, Germany and Australia, which estimated that adults worldwide are owed more than $51 billion in IOUs from friends and family.
"These billions of dollars go unclaimed simply because people hate spending the time to chase down debts, and have those awkward face-to-face conversations," says Colbeci. "That same study found that over 50 percent of Americans find it awkward to ask their friends or family to pay them back. But PayPal.Me changes everything about getting paid back."
In March, PayPal rival Square launched a similar service dubbed '$Cashtags', unique identifiers, such as $Finextra, that link to payment pages or can be used with the Square Cash app to instantly exchange cash with contacts.