Banking is Broken? Start-ups try to fix it.

I have written earlier about problems in banking security and credit card security issues. But what about some other banking issues?

Banking is Broken: A Financial Revolution is Coming article tells that a trio of startups are seeking to change the way we manage our money, by focusing on the customers traditional banks are ignoring. Banks have been slow to embrace new technology.

Finland’s Holvi, Sweden’s iZettle and Estonias TransferWise all took the stage at the Slush startup conference in Helsinki last week, and while they all offer completely different services, they are share a similar goal – to empower the customers that they believe traditional banks are ignoring.

Holvi offers customers an alternative type of current account, integrating bookkeeping and money management in a clean, simple online interface. TransferWise, founded by the first ever Skype employee Taavet Hinrikus, is looking to bring the essence of Skype’s ethos of offering cut rate international phone calls to the money exchange market. Speaking at Slush last week de Geer said that iZettle was “effectively about democratising card payments.”

Keep in mind that Holvi, TransferWise and iZettle are just three of the hundreds of companies looking to cash-in on the revolution that is coming to the banking industry.

What made the article really interesting to me is that I happen to know one of the Kristoffer Lawson, Founder and CEO of Holvi. I have personally heard the story of how the company was put up, that they were applying the needed license and when they got it. But the article includes some a bold new statement: traditional banks are ignoring 80% of their customers.

Lawson believes that Holvi’s new type of account is “the future of banking” and his company is rethinking what it means to be a bank: Holvi offers customers an alternative type of current account, integrating bookkeeping and money management in a clean, simple online interface. It is designed for use by groups and organisations so they can collaborate, making it ideal for events such as Slush, which used the Holvi system for all its budgeting and ticketing operations this year.

And I have also heard of some other events in Finland do the same. The reason why such events have actively started to use the system is that Lawson had been earlier active on organizing different computer events, so he knows the needs of this type of organizations.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nolan Bauerle / CoinDesk:
    Q2 2017 Blockchain Report: ICO funding hits $797M, exceeding VC funding in blockchain industry by 3x; total value of all cryptocurrencies is $100B, up 4x QoQ

    Historic Quarter: CoinDesk Launches Q2 State of Blockchain Report

    Q2 at a glance:

    Cryptocurrencies hit all-time valuations.
    ICOs emerge as an industry force.
    The asset class diversifies and bitcoin’s total dominance wanes.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:



    Over the course of seven years, Bitcoin’s value has multiplied 879,999 times. If an investor had decided to spend five dollars on about 2,000 Bitcoins back then, that stake would be worth $4.4 million today. With $1,200 spent on some 480,000 Bitcoins, the investor would be worth at least $1.1 billion today.

    The main advantage of bitcoin is that it is decentralized – meaning, there’s no central bank or government which controls it.

    Casares delivered the keynote speech, including some advice about how to get into Bitcoin.

    The formula, according to Casares? Take 1% or less of what you own, invest in Bitcoin with it, and then forget about it for at least the next five years; ideally the next decade. “You either lose one percent of your net worth, which most people can take, or you make millions.” he told a room of cryptocurrency advocates at the Westin in Times Square.

    Casares pegs the odds of bitcoin failing completely and going to zero dollars at 20%. “If it fails, it will be worthless,” he says. “If it succeeds, in five to seven years a single Bitcoin will be worth more than a million dollars.” He puts the chances of success at greater than 50%.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pandit Says 30% of Bank Jobs May Disappear in Next Five Years

    Vikram Pandit says AI, robotics reduced need for some staff
    Pandit now CEO of New York-based investment firm Orogen Group

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brenda Goh / Reuters:
    Source: Beijing city regulator told bitcoin exchanges to inform users about trading halt; OkCoin, Huobi, others say they will comply and stop trading by Oct 31 — SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese authorities have ordered Beijing-based cryptocurrency exchanges to stop trading and immediately notify users …

    Beijing cryptocurrency exchanges told to announce trading halt: source

    Chinese authorities have ordered Beijing-based cryptocurrency exchanges to stop trading and immediately notify users of their closure, signaling a widening crackdown by authorities on the industry to contain financial risks.

    Exchanges were also told to stop allowing new user registrations as of Friday, according to a government notice.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India

    After several weeks of speculation and leaked details, today Google officially unveiled its first big foray into mobile payments in Asia. The Android and search giant has launched Tez, a new mobile wallet in India that will let users link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in physical stores and online, and for person-to-person money transfers.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UK watchdog warns consumers on cryptocurrency fundraisings

    ICOs are a digital form of raising funds from the public using a virtual currency, with issuers accepting Bitcoin or Ether in exchange for a proprietary coin or token that is related to a specific company or project.
    China has banned ICOs, saying it was necessary to stop illegal fundraising and pyramid schemes, news that sent Bitcoin tumbling.

    Bitcoin fans fire back at Jamie Dimon after ‘fraud’ comment

    JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” earlier this week.
    Bitcoin supporters say Dimon is totally missing its value.
    Some believe Dimon sees bitcoin as the biggest future competitor to the banking industry.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethereum will match Visa in scale in a ‘couple of years’ says founder

    The mind behind Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is matter-of-fact about the crypto. In short, he believes what interviewer Naval Ravikant called “brain virus” is the true future of security and economics and, with the right incentives, Ethereum can replace things like credit card networks and even gaming servers.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
    Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app that uses ultrasonic sounds to let you exchange money, launching today on iOS and Android in India — After several weeks of speculation and leaked details, today Google officially unveiled its first big foray into mobile payments in Asia.

    Google debuts Tez, a mobile payments app for India that uses Audio QR to transfer money

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s over: China’s biggest bitcoin exchanges will halt all trading services for local customers

    The last hope for digital-currency trading in China is dead.

    China’s two largest bitcoin exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, said on Saturday (Sept. 16) that they will halt all trading services for local customers. It’s an about-face from their statements just a day earlier, in which the two companies said they would only halt yuan-based crypto trading by the end of October.

    China has been the focus of global bitcoin trading over the past week after news reports emerged that regulators were planning to ban crypto trading on domestic exchanges, following a Sept. 4 notice issued by the Chinese central bank that banned “initial coin offerings.”

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The technology, benefits, risks and regulatory measures you need to know about ICOs now

    The technology, benefits, risks and regulatory measures you need to know about ICOs now
    Posted Sep 19, 2017 by Emilie Allaert (@emyallaert), Lindsay Lin (@lindsayxlin)

    Lindsay Lin
    Lindsay Lin, Blockchain-Focused Regulatory Counsel & Program Manager, &

    Emilie Allaert
    Emilie Allaert is the Head of Operations and Projects at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology.

    Organizations have raised more than $1.8 billion through initial coin offerings (ICO) since January 2017. For the first time, this June, Blockchain entrepreneurs raised more money through ICO than traditional venture capital investment. If you haven’t heard of ICOs, it’s the new fundraising phenomenon that has caught almost every investor’s attention.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jon Fingas / Engadget:
    SEC announces Cyber Unit to police violations involving distributed ledger tech and ICOs, dark web misconduct, cyber threats to critical market infrastructure

    SEC is getting serious about bitcoin fraud and fake news
    It’s forming a Cyber Unit dedicated to online financial crimes

    The US’ Securities and Exchange Commission has to deal with a lot more than classic financial crimes these days: it has to worry about everything from insider trading hacks to the integrity of the latest digital currencies. To that end, it’s creating a Cyber Unit that will focus its enforcement team on digital offenses. These include hacks, such as attempts to obtain insider info or to compromise trading platforms and accounts, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

    To start, the SEC will look at fake news when it’s used to manipulate the market, such as pumping up a stock price to sell at a higher price.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Ridiculous Amount of Energy It Takes to Run Bitcoin

    Bitcoin “miners” are electromagnetic alchemists, effectively turning megawatt-hours of electricity into the world’s fastest-growing currency. Their intensive computational activity cryptographically secures the virtual currency, approves transactions, and, in the process, creates new bitcoins for the miners, as payment.

    And it does another thing, too: It uses an absolutely stunning amount of power. The ever-expanding racks of processors used by miners already consume as much electricity as a small city. It’s a problem that experts say is bad and getting worse.

    “The concern that people continue to debate is, where does this end?”

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Spend Bitcoin Anywhere

    I’ve written about Bitcoin several times during the past few years, and I still love the technology. I am a little disturbed by the amount of electricity the Bitcoin blockchain consumes using dirty power sources, but that’s another discussion altogether. Although there are many places to spend Bitcoin directly, and services like exist that allow you to spend Bitcoin at Amazon, what if you want to buy a pack of gum at the local gas station?

    I recently ordered two different Bitcoin debit cards. One card is from BitPay, and one is from Shift. They both conceptually do the same thing, which is convert your Bitcoin into currency that can be spent anyplace that accepts debit cards. They work slightly differently in function though.

    The BitPay card is a “reloadable” debit card that allows you to add US Dollars to your card. When you load the card, Bitcoin is converted at the current price, and the dollar amount is stored in your account. Once the card is loaded, Bitcoin is out of the equation, and fluctuating prices don’t matter. If you want to know exactly how much money you have on your card, the BitPay card is the way to go.

    In contrast, the Shift card doesn’t have any money loaded onto it. Rather, the Shift card connects to a Coinbase account, and at the time of purchase, your Bitcoin is converted to US dollars. This is actually “cleaner” than the BitPay method, but the volatility of Bitcoin can mean your actual available money isn’t consistent. If Bitcoin tanks, so does your buying ability with the Shift card.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Firms to Move Trillions to Blockchains in 2018

    When blockchains first appeared nearly a decade ago as the technical backbone of Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, they seemed to offer the masses a way to cut out the financial middleman. But now the big banks and other industry players are finding ways to spin the new tool to their advantage.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Do You Need a Blockchain?

    According to a study released this July by Juniper Research, more than half the world’s largest companies are now researching blockchain technologies with the goal of integrating them into their products. Projects are already under way that will disrupt the management of health care records, property titles, supply chains, and even our online identities. But before we remount the entire digital ecosystem on blockchain technology, it would be wise to take stock of what makes the approach unique and what costs are associated with it.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Ridiculous Amount of Energy It Takes to Run Bitcoin

    Bitcoin “miners” are electromagnetic alchemists, effectively turning megawatt-hours of electricity into the world’s fastest-growing currency. Their intensive computational activity cryptographically secures the virtual currency, approves transactions, and, in the process, creates new bitcoins for the miners, as payment.

    And it does another thing, too: It uses an absolutely stunning amount of power. The ever-expanding racks of processors used by miners already consume as much electricity as a small city. It’s a problem that experts say is bad and getting worse.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nikhilesh De / CoinDesk:
    SEC, in apparent first, charges two companies behind recent ICOs, Diamond Reserve Club World and REcoin, and their founder Maksim Zaslavskiy, with fraud

    SEC Charges ICO: US Agency Takes Action Against Alleged Token Scammer

    The SEC has brought what appears to be its first charges against a company utilizing the initial coin offering (ICO) fundraising model.

    In a press release issued late today, the U.S. securities regulator charged two companies and their founder, businessman Maksim Zaslavskiy, with violating anti-fraud and registration provisions of federal securities laws.

    Allegedly, Zaslavskiy sold cryptocurrencies backed by assets that did not exist in two token sales, one for a project called Diamond Reserve Club World, and the other for an effort called the REcoin Group Foundation, the SEC said.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Japan’s Financial Services Agency has approved 11 companies as operators of cryptocurrency exchanges

    Japan’s FSA gives official endorsement to 11 cryptocurrency exchanges

    Japan’s Financial Services Agency said on Friday it has approved 11 companies as operators of cryptocurrency exchanges, in a move that sets the country apart from its neighbors which are tightening their grip on virtual money.

    The Japanese government recognized bitcoin as legal tender in April and required cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with it.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ash Bennington / CoinDesk:
    Ex-Facebook and Google employees to launch a cryptocurrency index fund backed by Naval Ravikant, as a market cap-weighted basket of the top 10 by network value

    AngelList Creator Naval Ravikant Backs S&P-Style Cryptocurrency Fund

    A startup led by former Facebook and Google employees is launching a cryptocurrency index fund.

    Backed by AngelList founder Naval Ravikant, Bitwise Asset Management is today coming out of stealth mode to reveal its first product, the Bitwise Hold10 Private Index Fund – a market cap-weighted basket of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by network value. With the launch, investors who participate in the fund will own shares meant to reflect the value of the underlying assets, allowing them to achieve what BitWise argues is a broad exposure to the cryptocurrency market.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SEC accuses two digital coin creators of ripping off investors

    It has charged cryptocurrency-backed real estate and diamond companies owned by one businessman.

    While initial coin offerings aren’t prohibited in the US like they are in China and South Korea, authorities are still keeping a close eye on them. Case in point: the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s first ICO-related charges brought against a businessman and his two companies. SEC has accused Maksim Zaslavskiy of defrauding investors by selling virtual currencies backed by assets that don’t exist.

    Zaslavskiy advertised his first company called REcoin Group Foundation as “The First Ever Cryptocurrency Backed by Real Estate.”

    After the government started interfering in REcoin’s activities, he founded the Diamond Reserve Club, which promised to use people’s money to invest in diamonds. SEC said DRC never invested in diamonds and never even started its business operations, but it acted as if it had done both while soliciting investors.

    “Investors should be wary of companies touting ICOs as a way to generate outsized returns.”

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can Blockchain Technology Stop Whisky Counterfeiting?

    Unless you’re either a) working in or around the industry or b) a passionate fan, I’ll bet counterfeit whisky is not an issue you’ve paid much attention to – assuming you’ve even heard about it.

    Guess what? It’s becoming a serious problem with potentially deadly implications. An enormous fake whisky operation based in London specializing in creating phony “rare” releases was discovered earlier this year.

    Worse still, counterfeit Jack Daniels in Russia actually ended up killing more than 30 people – with the final number not known.

    A number of efforts are underway to combat the problem. In early summer, alcohol giant Diageo unveiled a small machine that can scan a bottle to verify its authenticity. QR codes on bottles to confirm authenticity have also been tried in other beverage industries where counterfeiting is an issue.

    This move towards transparency about whisky provenance and counterfeit operations is a significant change from the past.

    Blockchain was pioneered with the bitcoin crypto-currency. It allows purchases to be publicly traceable and is now being incorporated across many sectors.

    Owned by premier independent whisky bottler Adelphi, the distillery will print scannable QR codes on its upcoming Ardnamurchan AD 2017 release. The code will carry both in-depth information about the whisky’s supply chain – where the barley was sourced, dates of production, and other information highly valued by geeks like me – and also provide a digital certificate of authenticity confirming the whisky’s claims.

    Adelphi hopes eventually to roll out this high tech feature across all their bottles.

    This campaign represents a partnership with Edinburgh- and Belfast-based Arc-Net, a company specializing in authenticating supply chain information for consumers. Though Adelphi isn’t the first distillery to provide product information with scannable QR codes, it’s a first adopter of blockchain technology.

    Regardless, the introduction of blockchain could potentially be a game changer as both industry and consumer win. We can get more information about our whisky than we ever have before, and we don’t have to worry about it killing us, either.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oracle climbs on blockchain bandwagon with new cloud service

    Oracle climbs on blockchain bandwagon with new cloud service
    Posted yesterday by Ron Miller (@ron_miller)

    Oracle is working hard to be a SaaS vendor that matters, whether with its new autonomous database service or getting involved with blockchain. Today, the database giant announced a new blockchain service at Oracle OpenWorld that aims to give enterprise customers who want to get involved with the blockchain, a fully managed approach.

    “There are not a lot of production-ready capabilities around Blockchain for the enterprise. There [hasn’t been] a fully end-to-end, distributed and secure blockchain as a service,” Amit Zavery, senior vice president at Oracle Cloud said.

    The Oracle blockchain service is built on the open source Hyperledger Fabric project

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cryptocurrency Flash Crash Draws Scrutiny From Watchdog

    U.S. regulator asking Coinbase about June plunge in ether
    Agency sent letter to exchange asking about margin trading

    A popular digital-coin exchange is drawing scrutiny from U.S. regulators over a June flash crash that erased most of the value in the second-largest cryptocurrency before traders had time to blink their eyes.

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has requested information from Coinbase Inc. about a June 21 incident on its GDAX platform in which the ether digital token suffered a precipitous drop, falling to 10 cents from $317.81 in milliseconds before quickly recovering, said two people familiar with the matter.

    Among the issues the agency is focused on is what role leverage might have played in the plunge, as Coinbase allowed traders to use borrowed money to make bigger wagers than would have otherwise been possible, said the people, who asked not to be named because the review isn’t public.

    The CFTC inquiry is the latest sign that federal authorities are growing worried about a market with scattershot oversight that has attracted big money.

    $12.5 Million Trade

    Coinbase’s ether plunge was caused by a single $12.5 million trade — one of the biggest ever — that prompted selling by other investors. The decline triggered automatic sell orders from traders who’d requested to bail on the currency if prices dropped to certain levels, and led GDAX to liquidate some margin trades.

    While the drop was dramatic, it was also temporary.

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have surged this year. But regulators and financial executives are concerned that investors are inflating a bubble that’s destined to pop. South Korea banned margin trading in bitcoin and ether Sept. 29 after China earlier cracked down on digital currencies. Last month, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon likened cryptocurrencies to the infamous Dutch tulip bulb mania of the 17th Century.

    One risk of allowing margin trades is that in a sharp market reversal, trading platforms could run into problems if investors can’t repay the money they’ve borrowed.

    Coinbase’s GDAX had a margin funding limit of $10,000.

    Last year, the CFTC sanctioned a different digital token market, Bitfinex, for allowing investors who didn’t meet the $10 million threshold to make margin trades.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Stan Higgins / CoinDesk:
    Power Ledger, an Australian blockchain startup specializing in energy trading applications, raises $34M in an ICO

    $34 Million: Australian Blockchain Startup Power Ledger Completes ICO

    Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger has raised $34 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).

    That figure includes the $17 million the firm, which is focused on energy trading applications, raised in a presale that ended last month. Among the cryptocurrencies accepted, Power Ledger collected roughly 27,820 ETH, 1,050 BTC and 6,120 LTC. The token also garnered $13.23 million from participants, and was backed by as many as 15,000 supporters total, according to the Australian Financial Review.

    According to the Power Ledger white paper, the tokens are designed to be used to access the trading platform the startup is developing. They serve as a kind of common currency between participants, acting as fuel for the smart contracts that govern the system but also as an incentive for people that buy power through it.

    The startup’s work has attracted interest from several utility providers in Australia, including Origin Energy, one of the country’s largest.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Francesco Guarascio / Reuters:
    European Commission says some banks may be breaching antitrust rules by preventing non-bank competitors from gaining online access to customer account info

    EU conducts inspections over limits to bank account access

    The European Commission said on Friday it had conducted inspections in some EU states into banks’ alleged anti-competitive practices in limiting rival financial firms from gaining legitimate online access to their customers’ data.

    “may have engaged in anti-competitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules”

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Abba Star drives Sweden out of cash – six years later the banknotes are no longer in use

    On March 24, 2023, Sweden is predicted to be witchcraft. At that time, the shops are no longer worth taking cash.

    Sweden is the first country in the world to give up cash, says researchers Niklas Andersson and Jonas Hedman Dagens Handel.

    The volume of outstanding cash in the country is already the smallest, only one percent of Sweden’s gross domestic product, or around EUR 5 billion.

    The disappearance of banknotes and coins wants to trade more consumers and banks. 71% of all purchases in Sweden are made on a payment card.

    Consumers want easy payment methods, and banks want to get rid of laborious and risky cash handling. When physical money is not moved, robberies are also expected to decrease.

    Half of the surveyed 808 Swedish retailers estimate that cash will not be used for purchases in 2025. Fourteen respondents believed that banknotes would be used in 2030.

    “The use of cash as a means of payment turns unprofitable on March 24, 2023. It is uncertain whether it happens in the morning or afternoon,” said Hedman Dagens Handel.

    It can be slowed down by the fact that many retailers underestimate the price of cash.

    “Many still believe that receiving a card payment is more expensive than cash, they do not take into account the costs and time spent on cashing, securing, and transporting,” the researchers say.


  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Russia’s central bank says it will block websites selling crypto-currencies as Putin says crypto-currencies are risky and used for crime — SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday crypto-currencies were risky and used for crime, as Russia’s central bank …

    Russia turns cold on crypto-currencies

    SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday crypto-currencies were risky and used for crime, as Russia’s central bank said it would block websites selling bitcoin and its rivals – a change of tone from a month-old promise to legalize the market.

    Central Bank First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov told a conference in Moscow that the currencies were “dubious” and investors needed to be protected.

    “We cannot stand apart. We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors),” Shvetsov said.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Blockchain’s new client: Connected cars
    Toyota teams with MIT to explore ways to utilize the foolproof technology

    Blockchain technology is quickly leaping from bitcoin into automobiles. Just as it took the financial industry by storm owing to its cheap but secure data protection, blockchain has begun attracting interest from the auto industry, which will be handling large amounts of data as it moves into connected and autonomous vehicles.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bitcoin-Ethereum Atomic Swap Code Now Open Source

    A team of cryptocurrency startup developers is open-sourcing technology that enables trustless trading between the bitcoin and ethereum blockchains.

    Now available on GitHub, the code has already been used to execute what startup Altcoin Exchange claims is the first so-called “atomic swap” between the largest cryptocurrencies by market value.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Natalie Gagliordi / ZDNet:
    PayPal beats Q3 estimates with $3.24B revenue, up 21% YoY, vs. $3.16B expected, net income of $380M, up 18% YoY, and total payments volume of $114B, up 30% YoY

    PayPal reports solid Q3, active user base reaches 218 million

    The company says it grew its active account base by 8.2 million during Q3

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark DeCambre / MarketWatch:
    Bitcoin price passes $6,000 as its total market value hits $100B+ for the first time

    Bitcoin breaks above $6,000, and $100 billion in value for the first time in its history
    Published: Oct 20, 2017 4:40 p.m. ET

    The world’s most prominent digital currency was on track to mark a fresh milestone on Friday, with bitcoin rallying and putting the cyber currency in position to hit a total market value of around $100 billion.

    Such a valuation would place the No. 1 cryptographic currency above or on par with blue-chip companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.71% like United Technologies Corp UTX, +1.21% with a market value at $96 billion, American Express Co. AXP, +0.21% at $82 billion, Caterpillar Inc. CAT, +0.45% at $77 billion and Travelers Cos. Inc. TRV, +0.11% at $36 billion.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    Facebook Messenger now lets users send money to friends via PayPal, adds PayPal’s first bot for customer service — PayPal users in the U.S. will now be able to send and receive person-to-person payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced this morning.

    You can now PayPal friends in Messenger and get help via chat

    PayPal users in the U.S. will now be able to send and receive person-to-person payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced this morning. The deeper integration with Messenger’s platform, which will also include PayPal’s first customer service bot for handling customer questions and requests for help, follows a series of tie-ups between the two companies.

    Last year, Facebook and PayPal announced a deepened relationship that allowed customers in the U.S. to shop from online merchants using their Messenger chat bots, then transact in the messaging app via PayPal. Customers could also choose to link their PayPal account with Messenger in order to receive notifications and receipts from their online transactions within Messenger.

    To date, over 2.5 million users have linked their PayPal account with Messenger

    For starters, PayPal users can now pay their friends right inside Messenger – shifting some portion of PayPal’s $80 billion+ peer-to-peer payment volume to Facebook’s messaging app.

    While the Messenger integration will bring PayPal to a large audience, it’s not the first time PayPal has integrated with a messaging service – it’s already available via Apple’s iMessage, and can be launched through Siri.


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