Jonathan Adler is the latest designer to get in on the person-to-person payment service trend: He is lending his designs to a new PayPal platform.
As part of a holiday offering for the money-sharing platform, Adler is designing custom digital holiday cards to enliven the generally dull practice of making a money transfer. Adler, who is best known for his whimsical home goods, helped create six holiday-themed virtual cards that can be used throughout the season as thank-you notes, for gift giving and more. Adler said the partnership was part of an effort to expand his work in the digital space, and he will continue to develop designs for the company after the holidays. He has an additional series of designs slated to roll out in early 2017.
“As a designer, I want to make people’s lives better. I started off as a potter, which is like making a cup of tea or eating something a more stylish experience,” Adler said. “Over the years, people have gone increasingly digital, and this is a way to make digital more stylish.”
Though his eponymous brand has a robust social media following — he has 354,000 followers on Instagram, 71,800 on Twitter and more than 56,000 on Facebook — Adler said he is still working on developing a stronger digital strategy. Moving forward, he said he’s considering moving into platforms like Snapchat and Facebook Live, where he doesn’t currently play.
“We like to keep it very real — I think that’s the key to being successful digitally,” he said. “It’s challenging to be on all the platforms and still make groovy stuff.”
Pablo Rodriguez, senior director of global consumer initiatives at PayPal, said the impetus for the partnership was the rise of consumers interested in sending money as opposed to gifts to quell the anxiety of holiday shopping. According to a recent survey conducted by PayPal, 62 percent of responders said they would rather ask for money than a traditional holiday gift, but that most people refuse to give cash. 63 percent said this is because they view a cash gift as impersonal, and 29 percent said it was tacky.
“With more people using person-to-person payments for gifting and more than 17 million person-to-person payments excepted in the month of December, the holidays felt like the right time to create a digital gift card experience to make gift giving less stressful,” he said.
From a business perspective, Rodriguez said partnerships with designers like Adler help drive consumers to the platform, and in many cases, once there, they will continue to use PayPal funds for other PayPal-supported businesses. It’s also part of a larger effort to personalize the money transfer experience, expanding on existing efforts like implementing the capability to send funds via Microsoft Outlook or through a voice command with Siri.
“Person-to-person increases consumer engagement on PayPal by 67 percent, and we often see consumers re-spend the money they receive with businesses that accept PayPal,” he said. “The bigger picture for P2P payments is how we’re making it more personal and contextual.”