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PayPal tries to make it easier to give the gift of cash

The payments company unveils a series of holiday and generic digital cards people can use when sending money.

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A handful of the new digital card designs available from PayPal.

PayPal

Sure, ugly Christmas sweaters are a nice gift, but cash is pretty good too.

In an effort to make giving cash a little more personal, PayPal on Tuesday came out with a series of digital cards people can use when sending money to friends and family.

According to an online survey commissioned by PayPal, the top gift Americans want this holiday is cash. Still, many don't give money because it's seen as impersonal or tacky, the survey found.

People can already send and request money through PayPal for free, and the new digital cards come at no additional cost. The current set of cards ranges from holiday greetings to thank yous to generic gift-giving.

Even though PayPal isn't benefiting financially from the new cards, it hopes to use them as another way of getting people to make PayPal a more regular habit.

"We definitely think this has pretty significant potential," Patrick Adams, chief marketing officer of PayPal North America, said of the cards, adding that more digital cards for other holidays and special events could be added next year.

PayPal teamed with designer Jonathan Adler for the digital cards available in the US and Canada. Digital cards made by PayPal's in-house designers are also available in Germany, the UK, Australia, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.