PayPal Rolls Out In-App Donations

By Julian Thumm | 30 Jun 2016

PayPal is adding a ‘donate’ button to its mobile app, making it easier for users to make in-app donations via their mobile devices.

PayPal is rolling out a charitable donation button on its mobile app. The button appears at the bottom of the app home screen and is designed to encourage charitable giving through a seamless in-app experience.

The ‘donate’ button allows users to give to tens of thousands of charities enrolled in the PayPal Giving Fund — a registered non-profit organisation that raises funds for charities through technology. The company notes that the nominated charity receives 100 percent of all donations.

Paypal charity

Prior to this app update, charities were able to accept PayPal donations through their own websites; however, users were not been able to donate through the PayPal app. The update reflects the increase in mobile philanthropy. According to PayPal, 38.7 million people donated US$6.6 billion to charities through its platform in 2015, with 23 percent of those donations coming from mobile.

On Giving Tuesday last year, Australians raised US$2 million through the platform.

According to Libby Roy, Managing Director of PayPal Australia, 19 percent of those donations were made through mobile devices, reflecting 34 percent year-on-year growth.

“The ease and convenience of mobile devices and Australia’s high smartphone penetration has enabled charities to become an unexpected beneficiary of the changing spending patterns of Australians. We’re seeing savvy, connected consumers using mobile to support the vital work being carried out by the not-for-profit sector,” said Roy.

In 2015, US$19 million was raised through PayPal in response to the Nepal earthquake, with more than 74,000 people contributing US$4 million via mobile, according to TechCrunch.

“PayPal is committed to harnessing the power of technology and scale to build a worldwide network for good that inspires everyone — whether individuals, charities, or global brands — to take action and support local communities and the causes they care about,” the company told VentureBeat. ““In-app donations offer donors the added ability to support the causes they care about at any given moment of discovery from their mobile phones.”

The entire donation process happens within the PayPal app, aside from the actual transaction, which happens through a mobile web page. This is due to Apple’s App Store rules, which ban fundraising apps from the store, unless funds are collected outside the app. However, the process has been designed to feel like the whole donation takes place in-app, without disruption.

The update will be rolled out more broadly over the next few weeks.

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