- PayPal last week redesigned its mobile app to simplify the steps of sending and requesting money, according to a company blog post. The updated version lets users add photos and personalize their lists of contacts to help ensure they're sending payments to the right person.
- In addition, the app's home screen has been simplified to remove clutter, with buttons for Offers, Donate and Order Ahead moved into a new section labeled “More,” per TechCrunch. The home screen dedicates more space to personalized notifications, including alerts that indicate payments have been received or sent.
- PayPal introduced the redesigned mobile app on Android in select markets, including Australia and Italy. The company will roll out the iOS version to global markets, including the U.S., in the coming weeks.
PayPal's redesigned mobile app comes as the payments company faces greater competition from Apple’s Apple Pay Cash and Zelle, which is used by about 150 U.S. banks and credit unions. Consumer Reports this month gave Apple Pay the highest rating among mobile person-to-person (P2P) payment apps, ahead of PayPal-owned Venmo, Square's Cash App, Facebook P2P Payments in Messenger and Zelle. Apple Pay scored particularly well for data privacy and payment authentication, but lagged in customer support. Apple's payment app has about 252 million users worldwide, per an estimate by Loup Ventures, and banks continue to add support for the app with each quarter.
The volume of person-to-person payments sent online or with a mobile device jumped 21% to $348 billion in 2017 from the previous year, per advisory firm Javelin Strategy & Research. Zelle's payment volume rose 12% to $28 billion in Q2 2018 from the prior quarter, while PayPal's person-to-person payments rose 10% to $33 billion, including $14 billion from Venmo and $19 billion from PayPal's namesake app, per The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, PayPal executives have been debating whether to remove a feature from Venmo — the mobile payment app acquired in 2013 that’s popular among millennials — to let users see the spending habits of strangers in its news feed, per Bloomberg. Payments between friends would still be visible on the home feed, an unnamed source told the newswire.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in February reached a settlement with PayPal over allegations that its Venmo mobile-payments app misled customers about account transfers, privacy and security. The agency claimed that Venmo mistakenly led customers to believe that they could immediately transfer funds from their mobile accounts to external bank accounts, but the transactions were still subject to review, and could be stopped or reversed, per Quartz.