PayPal users can now transfer funds instantly to their bank accounts

Key Points
  • PayPal is cutting down the wait time for users to get access to their cash.
  • The new function is a result of an ongoing partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase that allows the fintech company to access a real-time payments network from The Clearing House.
  • “We wanted to continue rolling out additional solutions that make it faster for people and businesses to get access to their money,” says PayPal COO Bill Ready.
Venmo application
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

PayPal users can now transfer money from the app to their bank accounts in real time.

PayPal, parent company of peer-to-peer payments app Venmo, announced "Instant Transfer" on Tuesday for users who typically need to wait at least one business day for those funds to land in their bank.

"We wanted to continue rolling out additional solutions that make it faster for people and businesses to get access to their money," PayPal Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready said in a blog post.

The new function is a result of a partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase. Through that relationship, PayPal is able to access the Real Time Payments network from The Clearing House and enable those transfers immediately.

The instant-transfer feature is already rolling out to PayPal customers in the U.S., and should be available to businesses in coming weeks with international expansion "expected in the near future," according to PayPal. Venmo users will get the function "in the near future." The company began offering instant deposit for debit cards two years ago. Growth in that product, along with "Funds Now," another way for businesses to instantly access cash, spurred the need for the instant transfer function, Ready said.

"The technology has gotten faster but in many ways money access has gotten slower, which is perplexing in many ways," Ready told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "With this, you can now spend that right away when you get paid."

Ready said Tuesday's announcement should be more meaningful for small businesses, which don't always have a debit card linked to their account.

PayPal has been continuously moving into more traditional areas of banking like lending to small businesses. It and other tech companies are becoming increasingly popular options for borrowers who want to cut down on paperwork and access funds more quickly.

"Getting faster access to money is becoming more and more critical for most people, especially as the global workforce is evolving and an increase in less traditional and more entrepreneurial jobs means people have potentially less stable and more variable incomes," said Ready, former CEO of Braintree, which originally acquired Venmo. PayPal later acquired BrainTree in 2013, bringing Venmo under the PayPal umbrella.

Despite its bank-like offerings, PayPal is not FDIC-insured like one. It has money-transmitter licenses across different states and partners with The Bancorp Bank, which holds customers' deposits. The partnership model is a common setup for fintech companies that don't have their own bank charter.

The company did not say whether it would charge a premium for the instant deposit function. Standard Venmo transfers to a bank, which take about a day, are free.

Venmo has been a bright spot for the payments company. PayPal saw $19 billion in payments volume through Venmo in the fourth quarter — an 80 percent increase year over year. The fintech company is on track to do another $100 billion in payment volume through Venmo this year. But the app has yet to break even and start making money for its parent company. That monetization effort has been a major focus for Wall Street analysts that cover PayPal.

Correction: This story was revised to correct that instant transfers are only available for PayPal customers immediately. Instant transfers for Venmo will be rolled out in the near future.

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