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PayPal adds more features for sending money overseas

The digital payments company has integrated tools for cross-border money transfers using Xoom, a company it bought last year.

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PayPal offers money transfers through Xoom, Venmo and its own PayPal brand.

PayPal

PayPal's goal to become a bigger part of our payment lives took another step forward Thursday, with the company adding more money-transfer features to its platform.

Nearly a year after it purchased money-transfer company Xoom, PayPal on Thursday integrated a handful of Xoom's functions to its websites, making it easier for PayPal's 87 million US users to send money or remittances overseas. An update to the mobile app is "coming soon."

The company added 10 new countries that PayPal users can send money to overseas, including Mexico, Brazil, China and India. Those countries will be added to the 190 countries and regions PayPal already offers money transfers to. Also, people can now use their PayPal accounts to log into Xoom.

Xoom is typically used by first-generation immigrants in the US to send money back home to friends and family. The company's biggest markets include India, the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia and Dominican Republic, and it competes directly with Western Union and MoneyGram.

While these added features don't offer huge changes to PayPal, they keep up the company's continue push to make itself a far more vital part of people's lives. This year, it signed deals with Visa and Mastercard to make it easier to use your credit card with PayPal. Those deals should soon allow folks to pay with PayPal in stores. PayPal also hopes to start providing budgeting tools and financial advice to its customers.

Offering money transfers has become a useful way for PayPal to grow its influence and make additional money by taking a cut of some transfers. Xoom has provided cross-border money transfers, while PayPal and its other brand Venmo provide money transfers within the US. While PayPal doesn't break out Xoom's money-transfer volume, PayPal said its total peer-to-peer volume across all three brands in 2015 was $41 billion, up 42 percent from a year earlier.

Also Thursday, Xoom added a new feature to allow users overseas to request a remittance, bill payment or reload of mobile airtime.

"It overall improves the experience for both the sender and the beneficiary," John Kunze, vice president of Xoom, said of the new request feature, since a beneficiary doesn't need to contact a sender every time money is needed.

Asked about the security of these new requests, Kunze said they will be managed through Xoom and PayPal's typical risk management, anti-fraud and anti-money laundering systems.

He added that Xoom hopes to add new markets to send money from in the future, but there's no timeline for such plans. Currently, money can only be sent from the US.

PayPal on Thursday said its third-quarter revenue jumped 18 percent from a year earlier to $2.67 billion, beating Wall Street expectations. Earnings, excluding some special items, rose 13 percent and matched estimates. Total active customers hit 192 million, up 11 percent.

Updated, 1:45 p.m. PT: Added PayPal's earnings results.