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Emerging Payments

Exclusive: PayPal, Coinstar Pact to Expand Nationwide

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Coinstar and PayPal are in the midst of a nationwide expansion of the integration they have tested since last May, PaymentsSource has learned. The partnership allows consumers to use the change-counting kiosks to load, withdraw and send funds from their PayPal accounts.

The initiative began in May 2012 as a pilot in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, available at Albertsons, Brookshire's, Super 1, Olé Foods and Minyard Food Stores locations. Recently, consumers who use the service received an email announcing the nationwide expansion.

"Thanks for using PayPal on Coinstar in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We've got some great news—PayPal on Coinstar is now rolling out nationwide," the email reads. PayPal also posted a link to Google+ on Feb. 8 to a page titled "Access PayPal at Coinstar Machines Nationwide."

PayPal spokesman David Gilcreast said the marketing was inadvertently distributed to consumers prematurely. He confirmed the authenticity of the email, but declined to make officials from the company available for an interview because PayPal has yet to formally announce the expansion.

"PayPal and Coinstar have recently conducted a successful pilot program and continue to test PayPal functionality on Coinstar's coin-counting kiosks," he said in an emailed statement. "We're optimistic about offering this program at additional locations in the future."

A Coinstar representative also declined to speak on the matter or make officials available for an interview, providing only a similar statement to PayPal's email.

Not all kiosks are equipped to handle the PayPal transactions and it's unclear the steps involved in the nationwide expansion of the capabilities or how long the process will take. The Coinstar website lets users sign up to receive notifications when the service becomes available in their ZIP code.

Consumers can use the Coinstar kiosks to load as little as one penny or as much as $475 in coins per month into a PayPal account. Users pay Coinstar's standard 9.8% counting fee.

Including the $3 fee to add paper money, consumers can add a minimum of $4 and paper money deposits are limited to $500 per month, excluding fees.

Funds are withdrawn via Coinstar's voucher system. The minimum withdrawal amount is $8, including a $3 transaction fee. Consumers receive a voucher from the kiosk and redeem it for cash at a cashier in the store where the kiosk is located. There is a $200 daily limit and $500 monthly limit, including fees.

To send funds, consumers provide the recipient's email or mobile phone number on the kiosk. Recipients retrieve funds by logging into their PayPal accounts. Users that don't already have accounts must create one to accept the funds.

PayPal also provides consumers with the ability to load cash into their accounts with Green Dot Corp.'s MoneyPak card, as well as with a PayPal-branded card recently launched with prepaid card and technology provider InComm. PayPal also partnered with NetSpend Holdings to develop a prepaid MasterCard that does not require an PayPal account for use.

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