Chipping in: PayPal reveals new Money Pools group purchase app

17 Jan 2019704 Views

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Louise Phelan, vice-president for continental Europe, Middle East and Africa. Image: John Ohle Photography

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New PayPal tech allows friends, family and workers to pay collectively and settle a kitty without the drama.

When it comes to whip-arounds for presents or for settling a bill among a group of people, stumping up the cash can often lead to unnecessary acrimony or tension.

That’s why payments giant PayPal has introduced a new digital kitty platform called Money Pools to allow consumers and work colleagues to chip in digitally for group purchases.

‘We’ve all been there. You take the lead organising a group gift or buying some tickets, and then you spend weeks trying to get paid back’
– LOUISE PHELAN

According to PayPal research, 86pc of Irish consumers chip in for group purchases such as gifts, restaurant bills and travel expenses, but almost a third (32pc) find it difficult to collect money from family, friends or colleagues.

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

Digital kitty

The Money Pools app is available to more than 1m PayPal customers in Ireland.

A nationally representative survey commissioned by PayPal found that relationships in the workplace are under strain due to colleagues failing to chip in for group gifts. Around 21pc of Irish consumers claim their co-workers are the hardest to get reimbursement from for group purchases such as birthday or leaving gifts. Family members can be similarly tricky, with 20pc of respondents finding group purchases difficult to manage with their relative.

“We’ve all been there. You take the lead organising a group gift or buying some tickets, and then you spend weeks trying to get paid back,” said PayPal vice-president for continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, Louise Phelan, who heads up the company in Ireland. “Quite often you might just give up and pay a larger share of the bill yourself. Frankly, it’s a thankless task!

“We’ve launched Money Pools in Ireland to help banish these frustrations. In this day and age, we shouldn’t need to chase up cash when we see people or have to navigate lengthy bank transfers. Instead, you can save yourself the hassle by making a free digital kitty through PayPal and letting your Money Pool do the hard work for you. It’s all part of the move towards digital money and making the most of that powerful computer in your pocket: the smartphone.”

PayPal users simply create their Money Pool via the PayPal app or website, and then share a short URL on social media, in messenger apps or by email, to invite people to chip into the digital kitty.

It’s free for PayPal users to set up a Money Pool page and there are no fees charged for chipping in euro. The company said that fees may apply if a currency conversion is involved, though. A PayPal account is required to chip in.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com