PayPal lets users send money via Facebook

'Send Money'

PayPal users can now transfer money to each other via Facebook,as the eBay-owned payments firm continues to broaden its offerings. The free app, dubbed simply ‘Send Money’, gives PayPal access to Facebook’s 800m members and the move is likely to boost PayPal’s user numbers. While the peer-to-peer app doesn’t yet affect Facebook’s proprietary virtual currency, Facebook Credits, some commentators are already speculating as to whether the firms could deepen their integration in the coming months – though the current offering does not actually comprise a partnership.

The move comes just months after PayPal’s UK MD, Carl Scheible, warned the social network off entering online payments. Scheible claimed that firms such as Facebook and Google would find it “more difficult” than dedicated payments businesses, as consumers would likely opt for the latter amid a deluge of choices. PayPal will also come into competition with several smaller firms that already offer similar services on Facebook, such as Dwolla and Payvment. The move follows PayPal linking with business software firm MYOB to help bring small businesses online and start taking payments from their websites.

PayPal has become the driving force behind eBay’s recent revival of sorts. The online auction and e-commerce site bought PayPal in 2002, and the firm posted its first billion-dollar quarter last month, and now accounts for more than a third of eBay’s revenue. PayPal’s Facebook launch follows eBay’s move in September to enable developers to create shopping apps for retailers on the social network via its social commerce platform, X.commerce. However, PayPal’s consumer-facing app could prove a significant move as it targets more users and higher revenues.

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