While PayPal has made its name (and serious money) helping people pay for their online and in-store purchases, sending cash to friends or family takes a little bit longer than it needs to. That's why the company created the Venmo app, but that's only available to US users. Even though Venmo, Facebook Messenger, Square Cash and other peer-to-peer payment apps are gaining in popularity, many people still shy away from actually asking for the money they're owed. In an attempt to take the friction out of asking for and receiving payments, the e-commerce giant has launched PayPal.me, a new service that makes requesting money as simple as sending someone a web link. Not only that, it's a link that'll never change.
If you live in one of the 18 countries PayPal.me currently supports (including the US and UK), you can sign up for your unique username today. When you do, you'll then be given a paypal.me/username that can be shared with anyone at any time. The idea is that you won't have to leave your current app or desktop window to request money, like you would in say Venmo or Facebook Messenger, you just pop your custom PayPal.me URL in an iMessage, Whatsapp, Hangouts, email or any other messaging service and have someone wire you cash in a matter of seconds (using their own PayPal account, of course).
But what if you want to choose how much someone pays you? Well, you can append a figure to your PayPal.me web link, which autopopulates the amount the sender will transfer. For example, paypal.me/username/20 will let you ask for 20 pounds or dollars (or your local currency) -- perfect for getting your Whatsapp group to stump up the cash for the dinner that you generously charged to your debit card.
PayPal says that payments sent between UK users will be completely free. In the US, there will be no charge for funds deducted from a bank account or existing balance. Foreign payments will incur a small fee, but users outside the US and UK will need to check to see if the fee breakdown differs in their country. While PayPal already offers numerous ways to ask for and receive money, PayPal.me is quick and simple. Chances are that usernames will disappear pretty quickly, so reserve your unique ID while you can.
The full list of supported countries: US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Russia, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland.