PayPal have launched a new “Send Money” feature on Facebook. They say that Facebook users can now send money to friends and family whether it’s for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, “with just a few clicks and a PayPal account”.
I thought I’d give it a whirl but it didn’t turn out to be quite that easy. Whilst it’s true you can send money on PayPal you still need to know the email address of the recipient. Now I have lots of friends on Facebook, but I don’t actually know their email addresses. A lot of TameBay readers know my email address, but the one you know probably isn’t the one attached to my PayPal account.
PayPal say that they need my friends email address because “When you send money to a friend, we send them an email prompting them to log in to PayPal to get the money. If they don’t have a PayPal account, they can sign up for a new account in minutes by following instructions included with their notification. This simple step helps PayPal protect you against fraud.”
I won’t ever be using Facebook to send my friends money. Why would I when I can just log into PayPal, tap in their email address and send them money without having to use Facebook? The only advantage I can see of sending money with PayPal on Facebook would be if I could send it to friends without necessarily knowing their email address. Of course from PayPal’s point of view all those posts on people’s walls saying they’ve sent or received money is great marketing but that doesn’t benefit me.
Using Facebook to send money with PayPal does give you the option of adding a customised greeting card which is also posted to the recipients wall (although the message is kept private).
If you’re in the US there are no fees for using Facebook Send Money funded by PayPal balance or bank account, it looks like you’ll be charged if you’re based outside the US. If you’re based in the UK you can of course send money to friends for free by logging into PayPal instead of logging into Facebook.
I might use this Facebook app in the future if they enable me to send money to friends without knowing their email address. Until then I’ll use the PayPal site and send money for free without bothering about Facebook.