THE TALON

New Era of Online Payment

Users flock towards online payment methods like Venmo and Zelle

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Is the era of paper money coming to an end? With online payment services, pioneered by PayPal, the need to have cash is coming to an end. Consumers can now pay with a credit card at almost every store and venue, and paying up debts with a friend is as easy as typing a dollar amount into your phone.

Venmo is a popular app that allows users to pay their friends by typing in their username, as well as giving them the ability to name their payment. This app is popular among the younger generation, and turns paying into a social event. Users are given the ability to see what other people are paying and getting paid for, based on the other users privacy settings. They also have a feed that is a chronological list of their friend’s payments. PayPal acquired Venmo in 2016, with its $800 million acquisition of Braintree.

PayPal is most used on eBay, and has been the companies main payment provider since its creation. However, eBay announced that they would be dropping PayPal as its main provider in hopes of streamlining the service and enticing buyers who don’t favor PayPal.

“You know you’ve struck gold when you turn a noun into a verb””

— Kinsey Grant, The Street

PayPal, however has high hopes for Venmo. Popular with millennials, the phrase “I’ll Venmo you” has been coined by the younger generation. Its popularity is still on the rise and many have become reliant on it as their main payment method. Schools and businesses are even starting to accept Venmo as an alternative to credit card machines, or Squares. PayPal has even initiated a “pay with Venmo” feature on sites that use PayPal. This allows users to pay with Venmo if they do not have a PayPal account.

Another new popular payment app is Zelle. Zelle offers users the ability to transfer money directly from bank account to bank account, skipping the in app money-holding that most apps use. This is appealing to some users who simply want to use apps to transfer money, as opposed to turning it into a sharing experience.

The evolution of the way we pay has evolved to keep up with our increasingly online world. As we evolve away from printing and mailing, and move towards email and texting, we are also becoming increasingly distant from the need for paper money. While it is unlikely we will see the abolition of paper money in our lifetime, it is interesting to think that we may eventually live in a world where all our money is online. Maybe the gold standard will become the crypto-currency standard?

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