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PayPal's updated app helps it act more like your bank account

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PayPal is updating its mobile app with a new visual design, support for a high-yield savings account, and a way to find coupons in-app. In the past, the company prioritized sending and receiving money and cryptocurrencies, but its new app is trying to be a little bit of everything to everyone, and it's available today.

The immediately noticeable change is a visual one. The old payment-focused PayPal app put sending and receiving money at the forefront, with your account balance the first thing you see when you open the app. The PayPal app's new "homepage" is a dashboard of sorts with quick access to your balance, the amount of crypto you own, and your frequent contacts. It sorts other options under dedicated tabs and hubs.

Direct deposit and features like PayPal's credit and debit cards are under the wallet tab. The payments hub where you'll find peer-to-peer payments, bill pay, charitable donations, and messaging. The shopping tab keeps track of coupons and loyalty programs. And finally, the finance tab features cryptocurrencies and the new high-yield savings account.

The PayPal app's new high-yield savings account can be found in the finance tab. Image: PayPal

In terms of new features, rolling out a savings account is a notable one. The automatic money-saving app Digit added banking in beta earlier this year, but PayPal has even more reach. This new PayPal app supports direct deposit — with the option to receive deposits two days early — and save the money you add to a PayPal Savings account provided by Synchrony Bank. PayPal says its accounts will come with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.40 percent and no minimum balance or monthly fees. PayPal is also adding access to bill pay, so you can set up automatic payments to service providers and use "eligible funding sources" from your PayPal wallet to pay them. PayPal hasn't shared what steps you need to take to open a savings account, and when asked, referred us to the features listed above.

PayPal plans on surfacing coupons and discounts from various brands for use in transactions. Image: PayPal

PayPal is also emphasizing coupons and in-store discounts with a new dedicated shopping hub. "Shoppers will be presented with discounts and offers on hundreds of popular brands," PayPal says, and along with the ability to "shop through the in-app browser." Those savings extend outside of PayPal as well. You can clip coupons for use anywhere PayPal is a payment option online. PayPal is also working on a loyalty program that offers cashback and "shopping credit" on eligible purchases made with PayPal. The addition of coupons is similar to the one Google made with Google Pay last year.

PayPal's new app is jam-packed with features, to the point that there's a good chance that not everyone is going to use or even be aware of all of them. A more focused approach would probably be better for the average user, but the new PayPal app seems just as focused on making casual users reliant on more PayPal features as it is pleasing power users.

The new Paypal app is available today. PayPal Savings accounts are coming later this year.

Update 8:50AM ET: Updated headline to clarify that PayPal Savings accounts are provided through Synchrony Bank.

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