Online-payments company PayPal launched a Facebook application that lets users send money to each other.
Aptly titled "Send Money,” the greeting card-like application sends a message with photographs and even videos, perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or any occasion.
“The PayPal and Facebook infrastructure have now merged,” said PayPal’s Anuj Nayar in a blog post. “This is another way to personalize the act of giving money.”
Cards can be auto-shared to recipients' Facebook walls, although the message is kept private. Users can also opt to just send someone money, without posting the greeting card.
"In a world that's turning increasingly to social media, we are giving our customers the flexibility to send their money to whoever they want, whenever they want and for whatever (occasion) they want," said JB Coutinho, a senior product marketing manager at PayPal, in a blog post.
Several e-commerce apps that can send money over Facebook like Payvment already exist, but some social media analysts believe the synthesis of PayPal and Facebook's infrastructures and pedigrees could move them to the top of the pile.
“We can see the app really taking off. Users who see on Facebook that it’s a friend’s birthday can quickly fire up the app and send a card and some cash within a few minutes,” said Mashable’s Ben Parr. “The app is just as useful for things like lottery pools and reimbursing friends for lunch. It’s a big step toward making social payments a reality.”
“This move by PayPal reinforces the growing link between social media and e-commerce, in which the social graph is being used for a variety of shopping-related activities, such as product recommendations from friends and special-offer targeting by merchants,” said PC Mag’s Juan Carlos Perez.
PayPal earns interest on balances kept in accounts with the payments vendor; even when the money is technically only in PayPal’s hands for one to three days, the funds are moved into overnight investments to earn interest.