PayPal offers Irish customers new way to share bills or fundraise together

PayPal Holdings, the global online payments company, is extending Money Pools – its online community savings product – to Irish consumers.

Money Pools allows users to set a group fundraising goal and then share that goal with a group.

“We created Money Pools because we felt that there was a need for this type of service, and certainly from an Irish perspective, our research shows that there is high demand,” said Louise Phelan, vice-president of PayPal in Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Everyone knows what it’s like to be left short after buying a birthday present on behalf of a group of friends or after settling a bar tab for your colleagues.

“You end up wasting time chasing up everyone’s share of the bill and even then, you might not be repaid in full.”

Ms Phelan said research conducted by PayPal shows that a large majority (86pc) of consumers support the concept of a ‘group purchase,’ but almost one-third (32pc) find it difficult to get everyone involved to pay their fair share.

With alternative banking, and bill splitting, options such as Revolut on the market, Ms Phelan said that PayPal monitors its competitors closely and “make sure that we continue to innovate our products.

“Fintech is such a dynamic and fast-growing industry, rife with opportunity, so new market entrants and innovation are both natural and welcome. PayPal has always had competition, that’s nothing new,” she said.

Read more: ‘Do you have that fiver for me?’ – PayPal gets personal in new push

“[As regards Money Pools] there really is no other solution out there that tackles group purchases this way, and with over a million PayPal customers in Ireland, we’re best positioned to drive behaviour change amongst consumers.”

PayPal scrapped fees for euro transfers last year, having previously charged a fee of 3.4pc plus 35c on euro transfers.

There are no fees charged for chipping in euros to Money Pools, but fees may apply if a currency conversion is involved.

“Our focus is on solving real problems for Irish consumers, rather than launching new features just for innovation’s sake,” said Ms Phelan.

PayPal’s research shows that work colleagues are amongst the worst culprits for parting with their hard earned cents; workplace relationships can get tense as 21pc of kitty leaders report their co-workers are the slowest to cough up.

Almost two thirds (64pc) of respondents in the PayPal survey said they would rather use money-sharing apps to pay collectively and settle a kitty.

Free to set up, PayPal users can create their Money Pool via the company’s app or website, and invite friends, family or colleagues to chip into the digital kitty by sharing a short URL on social media, in messenger apps or by email.

The decision to ‘name and shame’ is also at the pool’s owner’s discretion as contributions can be made either private or public.

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