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PayPal acquires app Honey to help launch personalized shopping experiences

The $4B acquisition will increase PayPal's influence across online shopping and payments

Summary

PayPal’s acquisition of the popular online savings app Honey could lead to targeted promotions and personalized shopping experiences.

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PayPal has acquired popular deal-finding tool Honey for $4 billion in its largest acquisition to date. The deal promises to integrate Honey’s product discovery, price tracking and savings functionality into the PayPal and Venmo payment experiences.

PayPal’s acquisition of Honey means it will no longer simply be competing with credit cards and apps like Apple Pay at checkout, but will play a key role in the early stages of the online shopping process, as customers research products, weigh options and search for deals.

See related: What to buy every month of the year – and how to save using card rewards

PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman said the Honey partnership will “simplify the consumer shopping experience, while at the same time making it more affordable and rewarding.”

PayPal, which already boasts nearly 300 million users and 24 million merchant partners, also hopes the acquisition will allow its merchant partners to leverage Honey to offer customers targeted promotions and personalized shopping experiences.

“Combining PayPal’s assets and reach with our technology, we can build powerful new online shopping experiences for consumers and merchants,” said Honey co-founder Ryan Hudson in a statement. “We’ll have the ability to help millions of retailers efficiently reach consumers with offers that deliver more and more value to Honey members.”

Founded in 2012, Honey is a browser add-on and mobile app that tracks sales and promo codes across approximately 30,000 online retailers, ranging from fashion and technology to travel and food delivery. According to Honey, its 17 million members have saved over $1 billion to date using the tool.

Similar to tools like Wikibuy – which itself was acquired by Capital One in 2018 – Honey tries all eligible promo codes at checkout and automatically applies the one that saves you the most money. You can also get price-drop alerts with Honey’s Droplist tool and earn rewards through its Honey Gold program, which offers “gold” for using Honey while shopping that can be redeemed for gift cards.

Paypal-Honey partnership

The Honey acquisition is the latest in a series of moves designed to widen PayPal’s influence across the online shopping and payment spaces. In addition to a rewards credit card, the PayPal Cash Back Mastercard, PayPal offers PayPal Credit, which allows users to pay for larger online purchases over time. The company also recently launched a Venmo debit card and plans to release a Venmo credit card next year.

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