PayPal is expanding its presence in an unusual niche of the mobile payment sphere. Partnering with a Canadian airtime remittance company called TransferTo, PayPal is enabling users to send mobile minutes to friends and relatives abroad.
TransferTo can send mobile minutes to customers of more than 400 mobile carriers in over a hundred countries, and now users can make those arrangements with their PayPal accounts. It’s a particularly useful service in Canada, one of the most diverse countries in the world; there are many immigrants who are looking for an easy way to make sure they can stay in touch with friends and relatives back home.
In a sense, the partnership is a natural progression from PayPal’s recent acquisition of Xoom Corporation, an international digital money transfer company. It’s the same general concept, shifted from the financial sector to the mobile sphere – another area where PayPal has been demonstrating a keen interest as it has broken off from parent company eBay.
It also happens to be very much in line with the corporate vision recently outlined by CEO Dan Schulman, who has spoken about the ‘democratization’ of financial services. PayPal is attempting to establish itself as a fairer and more inclusive alternative to traditional banking and financial services, and in so doing it’s leveraging mobile technology to help people conduct transactions that used to be considerably more onerous. The TransferTo partnership is a branch of that, and going forward will likely become one of many such branches.