It’s not quite as confusing as it sounds. PayPal.me is basically a streamlined version of its namesake that also makes it easy for any PayPal user to set up a dedicated URL and their request payments from friends. The mobile-focused platform requires fewer steps than requesting payments or paying people using the full-fledged PayPal site. Notably, PayPal.me is built for the web, unlike Venmo which focuses on the app experience.
The new service isn’t necessarily designed to compete with Venmo, but it’s hard to imagine how it wouldn’t. A dedicated URL and a simple method for charging friends are two features that have long been popular on Venmo, a company that PayPal acquired in 2013. It doesn’t look like PayPal.me will offer the sort of creepy but sometimes entertaining social feed of what your friends are spending money on. But with Square Cash and Facebook Messenger and Google Wallet and pretty much everybody getting into the payments game, you can’t blame PayPal for trying. There’s a lot of money to be made!
Update (1pm EST): PayPal reached out to reiterate that its new PayPal.me service is, in fact, different than Venmo. A spokesman explained:
PayPal.Me is not intended as a competitive product, but rather complimentary one – PayPal is dedicated to letting its users pay however they want, whatever way is easiest for them, and PayPal.Me offers another choice to help make paying friends (or getting paid back) easier.
Still sounds a lot like Venmo, though, right?
Image via PayPal