PayPal launches a GoFundMe competitor with limits

PayPal announced a new fundraising service called “Generosity Network” that seems poised to take on GoFundMe, part of PayPal’s continued expansion into financial services it’s been missing until now. The service allows you to set up a fundraising page and process donations through PayPal’s payment platform. Transaction fees are waived on donations made with credit and debit cards, but according to TechCrunch, PayPal does intend to charge eventually.

Generosity Network seems as easy to use as GoFundMe, but unlike the popular platform, it limits the length of campaigns to 30 days and caps the total amount of donations you’re able to collect at $20,000. The service can be used by individuals, businesses, and organizations, provided they abide by PayPal’s rules around misleading claims, incitement of hatred, and other guidelines.

PayPal had a fundraising feature prior to Generosity Network called Money Pools, but it was designed for use between friends and family, featuring direct requests for contributions. Generosity Network is public-facing, with campaign pages that allow you to go into detail about the planned use for the funds you collect and provide photos. Like GoFundMe, Generosity Network’s potentially wide reach opens up the possibility for fraudulent campaigns. PayPal removes campaigns that violate its terms, but it doesn’t list any other proactive ways to prevent fraud, relying on the community to report anything that looks suspicious.

Fundraising platforms like Generosity Network and GoFundMe have become increasingly popular as the pandemic has left many out of work or with unexpected medical bills. PayPal’s take on the service seems to be convenient because PayPal itself is already popular, and people might already have their payment info in the company’s system.

Generosity Network joins a couple of new PayPal initiatives, like trading cryptocurrencies and touch-free payment features for partnered retailers, that launched over the last year. These new features set the company up to better compete with Square and now, Google. Google’s relaunch of Google Pay expanded the service from a digital wallet with peer-to-peer payments to an all-in-one financial tool with Mint-like tracking and eventually, banking services.

PayPal’s Generosity Network is available today in the US for new campaigns and donations.

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