Microsoft and PayPal today announced a partnership that enables peer-to-peer payments on the Skype mobile app.
Using the latest version of the Skype app for iOS and Android, along with the Send Money add-in, people can now send funds directly to their contacts. Although the mobile app is required to send money, recipients can use any version of the Skype app to collect their funds.
Naturally, both senders and recipients must have a PayPal account for successful money transfers. Users who don't already have an account will be prompted to sign up.
The Send Money feature also enables international payments, but only between select countries.
"To use the Send Money feature, both you and the funds' recipient must reside in one of the 22 countries in which Send Money is supported, and currency exchange is no problem," stated Microsoft in an Aug. 2 announcement. "If you're sending funds from the U.S., for example, to someone in Europe, you will have the option to send money in Euros."
Send Money is supported in the U.S. Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, according to the two companies.
Although there is no setup fee, PayPal may charge transaction fees depending on the currencies and payment method used and whether the funds is sent across borders, according to this online FAQ.
Skype isn't PayPal's first foray into mobile peer-to-peer payments.
"Over the past year, we've partnered with Apple, Slack and Microsoft to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) payments with PayPal and Venmo in more places and in more contexts where people are connecting online and on mobile, such as a voice command with Siri, in chat with iMessage and Slack, and in email via Microsoft's Outlook.com," said John Kunze, vice president of Global Consumer Product and Xoom at PayPal, in a separate announcement.
Last November, iPhone and iPad users gained the ability to send funds to their contacts via the PayPal app by issuing voice commands to the Siri virtual assistant. In February, PayPal announced that it had settled on Slack as the platform for its first bot, an integration that enables users to send money between accounts without leaving a Slack conversation.
Peer-to-peer payments are big business for PayPal. In 2015, the company processed $41 billion in payments across its PayPal, Venmo and Xoom platforms, a 42 percent year-over-year increase. PayPal acquired Venmo as part the Braintree buy in 2013. Xoom is PayPal's international money transfer service.
PayPal has also been hard at work fashioning itself into a "digital commerce operating system."
In 2015, the company signed a deal with web storefront provider Bigcommerce to integrate PayPal's One Touch checkout technology across tens of thousands of online stores. After an initial login, One Touch allows customers to pay with a single touch (or a single click on a PC web browser) without reentering their account information on subsequent visits.