PayPal’s fancy new app isn’t going to solve any of its problems
We’re living in a digital age, and so are our finances. And PayPal is, by far, one of the most used digital wallets worldwide, even with all its problems: it allows users to easily receive and send payments, whether you’re just sending money to a friend or even if you’re buying something online. Having been around since 1999 and quickly becoming the most used payment method on eBay in the early 2000s, it remains one of the most feature-rich digital wallets in the world, especially in the US. Now PayPal is launching a new version of its mobile app, full of improvements.
The new app promises to be an “all-in-one” stop for managing your finances and doing more with your money. While PayPal doesn’t sell itself as a bank replacement, and the new app doesn’t change that, the updated app does make PayPal work more like you’d expect a bank to, as it introduces a lot of bank-like features for people debating a switch to online banks like Chime or competitors like Cash App. Some of them are actually new, while others are re-branded abilities that already existed in some form.
The new app introduces PayPal Savings, a “high-yield” savings account (0.40% APY) provided by Synchrony Bank. It also delivers support for receiving direct deposits up to 2 days early through one of PayPal’s bank partners. You’ll notice more options to use your PayPal funds, which you’re surely going to need if you’re going to use your PayPal account to get your paychecks.
The new app will also give you the ability to pay your bills, earn rewards, manage gift cards, pay for purchases using QR codes, access and manage credit, and more. PayPal has been teasing the launch of a “super-app” for some time now, and this new version certainly wants to be a one-stop-shop for everything you need to do with your money.
We should note that PayPal has been offering bank-like features for a while now. In particular, if you had a PayPal Cash Card, direct deposits have already been available. And crypto trading, which is also being touted as a new feature, has also been an existing option for some PayPal users. With the new version of the app, however, PayPal is actually streamlining a lot of these features in addition to making them more easily accessible, while also introducing a few legitimately new ones. PayPal Cash and PayPal Cash Plus accounts are now “PayPal Balance” as PayPal is introducing its all-new PayPal Savings account.
The company says that its new app should begin rolling out today, although we tried updating to the latest version of the PayPal app manually and found no changes — perhaps there’s still a server-side switch. PayPal Savings accounts should become available in the next few months.
This isn’t likely to stop PayPal from randomly keeping your money hostage sometimes or limiting your account, but it does give you more options to use the money you do have access to.