PayPal’s updated app is the first step in becoming your bank

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PayPal is updating its mobile app with a new visual design, support for a high-yield savings account, and a way to find coupons in the app. In the past, the company has given priority to sending and receiving money and cryptocurrencies, but its new app tries to be a little bit of everything for everyone and is available today.

The immediately noticeable change is an optical one. The old payment-centric PayPal app put sending and receiving money into the foreground, with your balance being the first thing you see when you open the app. The new “homepage” of the PayPal app is a kind of dashboard with quick access to your balance, the amount of crypto you have and your frequent contacts. It sorts other options under dedicated tabs and hubs.

Direct deposits and features such as PayPal’s credit and debit cards can be found under the “Wallet” tab. The payments hub where you can find peer-to-peer payments, bill payments, charity donations, and news. The Shopping tab tracks coupons and loyalty programs. Finally, the Finance tab features cryptocurrencies and the new high-yield savings account.

The new, high-yield savings account in the PayPal app can be found in the Finance tab. Image: PayPal

In terms of new features, the introduction of a savings account is noteworthy. The automatic money-saving app Digit added banking in beta earlier this year, but PayPal has even more reach. This new PayPal app supports direct deposits – with the option to receive deposits two days early – and saves the money you add to a PayPal savings account. PayPal says its accounts will have an annual percentage rate of return (APY) of 0.40 percent and no minimum balance or monthly fees. PayPal also adds access to bill payment so you can set up automatic payments to service providers and use “Eligible Funding Sources” from your PayPal wallet to pay for them. PayPal did not tell us what steps to take to open a savings account and directed us to the features listed above when asked.

PayPal plans to display coupons and discounts from various brands for use in transactions. Image: PayPal

PayPal also emphasizes coupons and discounts in stores with a new dedicated shopping hub. “Buyers get discounts and deals on hundreds of popular brands,” says PayPal and the ability to “shop through the in-app browser.” These savings extend outside of PayPal as well. You can cut out coupons to use anywhere PayPal is an online payment option. PayPal is also working on a loyalty program that will provide cashback and “shopping credit” for eligible purchases made with PayPal. Adding coupons is similar to what Google created with Google Pay last year.

PayPal’s new app is packed with features, so there’s a good chance that not everyone uses or even knows about it. A more focused approach would probably be better for the average user, but the new PayPal app appears to be just as geared towards getting casual users to rely on more PayPal features as power users like it.

The new PayPal app is available from today. PayPal savings accounts are coming later this year.

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