PayPal is now in the mobile peer-to-peer payments game. Again.
The company this morning launched PayPal.me, a mobile payments service that lets users send money to each other over the web, email, or text message without having to download a dedicated mobile app. If this sounds familiar, that's because a whole host of other companies, including Jack Dorsey's Square, Snapchat, and Google (via Android Pay), already do the same thing.
PayPal's own Venmo, which is particularly popular with younger people, also lets users send money to each other using their smartphones. The key difference between Venmo and PayPal.me is that PayPal.me is available in 18 countries worldwide while Venmo is currently limited to the US.
Transactions linked to bank accounts and debit cards are free for users, while transactions linked to credit cards see a 2.9 percent fee charged to the person making the payment. All parties must already have a PayPal account configured to be able to send and receive money.
PayPal is jumping into mobile payment again because there's literally $1 trillion at stake, according to research firm IDC. The worldwide mobile payments market is expected to grow to that amount by 2017, up from $500 billion projected this year. Those percentage points that PayPal and co. add to the top of your group dinner bill add up quickly.