This Scrappy Startup Has Beaten PayPal To The Cash Market

Danny Shader, PayNearMePayNearMe’s Danny Shader is ready to take your cash now.


PayPal just announced plans to start taking cash deposits through Moneygram, the money-transmission service, next year.But eBay’s online-payments business has been beaten to the draw by a startup, PayNearMe, which is already letting consumers buy online with cash.

Both PayPal and PayNearMe are tackling a huge slice of the payments market that hasn’t been addressed by other startups.┬áRight now, most of the innovation in payments centres around credit cards.

But 60 million adults in the U.S. don’t have a credit or debit card, PayNearMe CEO Danny Shader recently told me.

They can forget about using Square or LevelUp, riding on Uber, or snagging an Airbnb rental.

PayNearMe has partnered with 7-Eleven and Ace Cash Express to take payments. How it works: People buy things like a Greyhound bus ticket online. They get a code printed or sent to their phone, and take it to a 7-Eleven store, where they pay the balance due with cash. PayNearMe’s also started handling utility bills and even rent payments. Oh, and you can spend money on Amazon, which naturally doesn’t accept PayPal.

PayPal’s solution could end up being more flexible, since a lot of online stores accept PayPal. But it’s not clear what PayPal will charge. (MoneyGram typically charges $3.95 or more for reloading prepaid cards.)

So PayPal’s a bit behind on taking cash deposits. But on Twitter, PayPal CEO David Marcus recently highlighted a key advantage PayPal has on the other side of the cash equation.

Small business owners, taxi drivers, and other self-employed individuals have to wait for credit-card payments to hit their bank account. While Square and others have promised speedier payments, it still takes a day or more.

But PayPal merchants can start spending their balances right away, Marcus pointed out, including taking cash out at ATMs.

With everyone from Google to Square to make credit cards slightly cheaper and slightly more efficient, it seems smart that PayPal and PayNearMe are tackling the huge cash market.

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