PayPal has scrapped its fees for Euro money transfers between friends and family in Ireland. This decision is to encourage more consumers to turn away from cash and embrace faster mobile payments. This follows new research from PayPal which reveals that Irish consumers owe their family and friends an estimated €575 million in small, unpaid debts. Efforts to pay back the nation’s I.O.U. debt are being frustrated by costly and inefficient ways of repayment.
Despite the popularity of smartphones in Ireland, people still rely heavily on cash. Two-thirds of the survey respondents state that they use cash most often to pay friends and family. In fact, Irish consumers carry more cash on them today (€57 on average) than they did two years ago (€39). Many people do not realise the financial and time cost involved in using cash. A third of Irish consumers have had to pay fees at a cash machine, or for internet or telephone banking just to make a payment to their friends or family. Consumers can pay a standard flat fee such as 35c for cash machine withdrawals using a debit card, or up to 1.5 per cent for withdrawals from a cash machine using a credit card, depending on their bank.
On average, Irish adults are owed €152 each through small loans they have made to their friends and family. PayPal’s research estimates this could amount to over €575 million in unpaid debts nationwide. Almost 1 in 5 consumers blame their failure to repay on not carrying enough cash on them, or not being able to access a cash machine.
In a bid to encourage more consumers to move away from cash and traditional bank transfers, PayPal has removed all fees for Euro money transfers between friends and family in Ireland using the PayPal app. Smartphone alternatives like the PayPal app help eliminate many of the problems associated with cash and old-fashioned transfers. Payments can be sent with just the recipient’s email address or mobile number, rather than a sort code and bank account number.
Louise Phelan, Vice President, Continental Europe, Middle East & Africa, PayPal, comments: “Cash is still king in many people’s eyes, but it doesn’t deserve our loyalty. Cash comes with hidden costs and frustrations, both financial and personal. There seems to be an Irish taboo around asking to be paid back by friends and family. Almost a third of us prefer to do nothing and not ask to be paid back, leaving many people out of pocket.”
Pictured above: Louise Phelan, Vice President, Continental Europe, Middle East & Africa, PayPal, leads a protest against cash on the streets of Dublin