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PayPal will soon give users the ability to manage cryptocurrencies
by João Carrasqueira
PayPal is expanding into the cryptocurrency management market, the company announced today. The move comes in response to increasing interest from consumers and central banks in digital currencies, and it will allow PayPal users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within PayPal. What's more, the firm plans to go further by allowing cryptocurrencies to serve as funds for purchases on merchants that already support PayPal payments.
PayPal cites a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, saying that one in ten central banks plan to launch their own digital currency in the next three years. Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said:
PayPal will start enabling cryptocurrency management for users in the United States in the next few weeks. To start, users will be able to manage some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal plans to expand the capability to its Venmo service in the first half of next year, and it will also enable cryptocurrencies to be used for payments in early 2021. Cryptocurrency management should also expand to other markets next year.
Through the end of the year, buying and selling cryptocurrencies won't have any cost, and simply holding cryptocurrencies won't carry fees in general. PayPal is also going to provide users with educational content so they can understand how cryptocurrencies work, as well as the risks and opportunities attached to them.
If you live in the United States and you're interested in the feature, you can join the waitlist using this link.
By Jay Bonggolto
PayPal adds support for QR code payments in 28 markets
by Jay Bonggolto
PayPal today announced a (not entirely) new method of making contactless payments in 28 markets. The online payments provider has launched support for QR code-based transactions on its mobile app.
The company noted how QR code can help to minimize physical contact when making a payment, especially at a time when the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be prevented with social distancing, among other measures. Customers only need to aim their smartphone camera at a QR code printed on a piece of paper or displayed on a screen and then enter the amount they're paying.
John Kunze, Senior Vice President of Branded Experiences at PayPal, said:
To use the feature, simply head over to the "Send" option on your PayPal app and tap the QR code symbol at the top right corner. PayPal is also waiving its standard fees for sellers when they accept payments through a QR code, though this is for a limited period only as businesses struggle with the spread of the virus.
This functionality is now available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain.
PayPal is buying shopping and rewards platform Honey
by João Carrasqueira
Today, PayPal announced that it's buying Honey, a popular shopping platform that makes it easier for users to get discounts and rewards when shopping online. The deal is expected to cost PayPal $4 billion, and it promises to provide to "transform the shopping experience" for PayPal users.
Chances are you've heard of Honey before. The company was founded in 2012, and it's been growing quickly, likely thanks to a great number of sponsorships in videos from many YouTube creators. While the browser extension has been around for quite some time, Honey was chosen as one of the few extensions that were built into Microsoft's Edge browser on mobile devices, alongside AdBlock Plus and NewsGuard. The service will chime in whenever it detects a potential discount on a product you're looking at, which has helped users save $1 billion when shopping online, according to PayPal's announcement.
PayPal says the acquisition supports the "shared vision" of both companies to make online shopping simpler and more personalized, increase customer engagements, and turn consumers into customers. Honey should be able to increase its audience by reaching PayPal's more than 275 million active consumer accounts and 24 million merchant accounts, potentially helping the platform get more exclusive deals. Meanwhile, Honey will help PayPal reach consumers before they've even made a purchase, and help merchants increase sales by delivering personalized and timely offers.
The acquisition deal is expected to be finished in the first quarter of next year, and it'll be reflected in PayPal's non-GAAP earnings per share in 2021.
PayPal withdraws its support from Facebook's Libra Association
by Paul Hill
Following speculation that several companies were having doubts over Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, PayPal has announced that it's withdrawing itself from the Libra Association, the non-profit governing body of Libra. PayPal has said that it’s still supportive of Libra’s aspirations but that it wants to focus on its own work for the time being.
It’s unclear why the firm backed out of Libra but it was reported earlier this week that several firms including Visa and Mastercard had serious reservations over the cryptocurrency since banks and governments all around the world started casting doubt on the project. Alongside Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, Stripe was also considering its place in the Libra Association, however, all the firms except PayPal are still listed on the association’s website as members.
In a statement on the matter, PayPal said:
Reacting to PayPal’s decision, Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said:
While this news is a major blow for the Libra Association, the two entities could come back together again in the future if things become less turbulent in terms of regulation. PayPal said that it is supportive of the aims that Libra is trying to achieve and that it will partner with Facebook in the future.
Visa, Mastercard, and others are having doubts over Facebook's Libra
by Paul Hill
Visa and Mastercard are having doubts over their involvement with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, according to sources with knowledge on the matter. The sources revealed that the firms did not want to be scrutinised by regulators and have apparently denied Facebook’s request to support Libra publicly.
Facebook’s Libra has attracted a lot of attention from banks and governments all around the world. At Neowin alone, we’ve reported that the People’s Bank of China is worried about the dollar’s influence on Libra, that Japan was investigating the cryptocurrency, and that a board member of the European Central Bank believes Libra could undermine monetary policy.
While things aren’t looking good for Facebook with regards to Visa and Mastercard, it has additional problems. A report from Bloomberg said that PayPal and Stripe are also undecided about formally signing on to Libra.
In June, Facebook announced that it was going to launch Libra. According to Reuters, Facebook was eyeing June for the currency’s release but with all the talk of regulation and partners backing out, Facebook’s plans could be significantly delayed.
Source: Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg (Yahoo) via: Reuters