PayPal is launching a series of e-cards to encourage people to ditch snail mail and send money electronically this holiday season. The announcement comes almost exactly 10 months after WeChat revealed that its users sent 8 billion money-enclosed e-cards to friends and family during the Chinese New Year. Since WeChat’s “red envelopes” first came out in 2014, local competitors Baidu and Alibaba have rolled out similar offerings.
With lots of peer-to-peer money apps out there, PayPal is hoping customizable cards will help distinguish it from competitors. “It’s always great to stand out in the marketplace,” Patrick Adams, CMO for PayPal North America, told Fast Company. He also thinks e-cards will prove popular year-round.
According to a recent survey the company ran, 62% of people said they wish they could ask for money as a gift. Roughly that same percentage didn’t want to give money as a gift because they were worried about it seeming too impersonal. PayPal’s line of six e-cards is designed by home design guru Jonathan Adler. PayPal says it will continue to offer e-cards throughout the year for other occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries, and any other time you want to send money with a card. RR