PayPal announced a roster of new features just in time for the holidays.
The payments service implemented a full integration with micro investing app Acorns for “simpler investing,” a PayPal spokesperson tells Inverse.
“You can now use PayPal to fund an investment account with Acorns,” the company say. “Once you link your PayPal account to Acorns, you can choose to set-up a recurring or one-time investment funded from your PayPal account.” Acorns was founded in 2012 and has raised more than $96 million to date. It claims to be the “largest and fastest growing investment app that allows people to round up their daily purchases” and invest it in a diversified stock portfolio.
PayPal — which backed Acorns for $30 million in 2016 — hopes to encourage its users to seamlessly save and invest money “to lead healthier financial lives.”
Acorns had already been allowing its users to link their PayPal and start using it to “round up” purchases for saving and investing. So the new PayPal move is just another natural way to synchronize both companies’ millennial-leaning users.
“Once your accounts are linked you can easily monitor your Acorns account right from within PayPal,” both online and in the PayPal mobile app, so you can monitor and build your long-term savings, the company says.
“This will allow you to do things like check your Acorns account value, monitor your investment contributions, and manage your recurring and one-time transfers to Acorns right in the moment.”
Right now, if you’re a PayPal app user, you can set your account to have daily transactions “rounded up” so the extra change gets deposited and invested within your Acorns account.
Known for creating diversified investments for its users, Acorns developed its risk-dependent portfolios with help from Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Harry Markowitz.
It’s become known for its entry-level investment features, allowing newbie traders to get in on stocks and bonds for as little as a $5 first time deposit.
PayPal-owned Venmo still hasn’t gotten an Acorns integration, but judging by its young user, it’s likely to be next product to get the “save and invest” feature.
It looks like PayPal is pushing for its users to gift investment starter money this season. Along with the Acorns integration, PayPal also announced a new “digital greetings” feature to help users gift money for the holidays.
“For the second year in a row, money is the number one most wanted gift with more than half (52 percent) of Americans wishing they could ask for money in lieu of a traditional present,” PayPal announced. The company is partnering with style blogger Man Repeller, who co-created six holiday-themed digital greetings to tack onto a gift payment.
With the Acorns integration, PayPal’s introduction of “Investment 101” to its user base signals its newest strategy to entering and dominating new markets on its quest to becoming a worldwide digital bank.