PayPal’s Money Pools Targets Group Payments

by Raymond Pucci 0

Taking payments to where Venmo leaves off—that would be PayPal’s Money Pools. PayPal has launched a crowdfunding-type version of Venmo, as the following article describes

When Airbnb acquired and subsequently shut down Tilt — a platform that let people pool together to pay for items or events — many (including former Tilt employees) were left wondering what could and would replace it.

PayPal has stepped into the fray in an attempt to provide its own answer. The payments giant has now launched Money Pools, a service that lets people create pages to let their contacts fundraise for a specific item or event, such as buying a group gift, a group trip, or housemates paying the rent.

PayPal is launching the service today in 16 countries — Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. Anyone who has a PayPal account in these regions can create a Money Pool, or contribute to one. (Without a PayPal account, you can’t use it.)

To be clear, this is not open-ended, crowdsourced fundraising as you might have on GoFundMe or Kickstarter. It’s intended for specific items or efforts among family and friends, similar to what Tilt let you do.

“Money Pools were created to provide the millions of people who already use PayPal P2P with a more personalized and organized way to share expenses with more than one family member or friend for things like travel, gifts, celebrations and even recurring expenses like rent and utilities,” said PayPal. “Unlike crowdfunding solutions, Money Pools are not intended to facilitate fundraising for activities such as product development and organizers agree not to offer perks, rewards, or other incentives in return for contributions made to a Money Pool.”

The service, PayPal says, is free when you use money from your PayPal wallet, or a debit card or a bank account linked to your PayPal account. Standard PayPal fees apply when you have to make a currency conversion or use a credit card (also linked to your PayPal account).

Once you create a page, Money Pools works similarly to other social funding sites like GoFundMe: you can personalize the page with pictures and how you want contributions to appear (public or anonymously); you can update the site’s activity feed; and you can — important for social-payments — share a link to the campaign with a short URL.

PayPal continues to find new payment partners, as well as to create new payment services for various target markets. So it’s no surprise that given the runaway success of Venmo, PayPal has come up with a group version of the popular P2P product. Similar to Venmo’s social media interaction, Money Pools also engages its users with Facebook and Twitter if so inclined. Ok, so now we can all find out who didn’t put in yet for the ski lodge rental this winter.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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