PayPal wants to finally make Venmo as ubiquitous as Apple Pay, so it’s been working with small banks like StudentLoan.com to make a Venmo debit card for teenagers. Venmo and StudentLoan.com announced the prototype project as part of PayPal’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call today. It will use mobile payments company CSLast in London for the card.
PayPal CEO Dan Schulman says the concept was to “create a card with this millennial value proposition that connects with this broad demographic group.”
And PayPal says it expects to launch the card later this year, enabling peer-to-peer payments across devices. It’s also reportedly talked to major banks in North America and Australia about partnering with them for the card.
Since buying Venmo for $2.2 billion in 2014, PayPal has spent its development team working on an entirely new way for teens to spend their spare cash.
It created a standalone payment application in July 2015. But since teenage wallets and keyboards on devices like the iPhone and Android were already well received, the bank-to-bank contactless payments (spend receipts) feature didn’t catch on.
Since then PayPal has relied on partnerships like its Venmo TeenLine program to let teens communicate with other users with their phones. It also released a Virtual Payment Card in June that let teens send money to one another.
Recently PayPal killed off teens’ ability to sell their used clothing through eBay, but promised to do a more thoughtful product from the ground up for them with Venmo Teen.
Venmo currently has about 300 million registered users, though that count includes bots, fake accounts and dormant users. That’s a significant number, especially considering it’s built up a loyal, heavy user base while rivals like WeChat Pay and Apple Pay were stuck figuring out how to do peer-to-peer payments.
Now that PayPal can pivot, it can finally port them onto its mobile payments API, which it launched late last year and will release to developers in the second quarter.
Along with charging up to 5% and $.10 per transaction, PayPal is hoping merchants will take notice and let users make purchases using Venmo with Stripe’s native pay with your Venmo app.