Email is a popular technology in part because it doesn’t matter which service you use. A Gmail user can send a message to someone with a Yahoo account and vice versa. Yet when it comes to sending cash on the Internet, services are fractured. A Venmo user can’t send money to someone using Cash App or Zelle, and nor can you can use a bank’s website to send money to those apps.
That’s why a new service called PayID is intriguing. Launched by a coalition led by the cryptocurrency company Ripple, PayID offers consumers the equivalent of an email address—a distinct easy-to-read ID that works with any service provider.
Ripple announced the service, touting that it has 40 partners and over 100 million potential users, and encouraging people to sign up at PayID.org.
Ripple has dozens of partners, including Bitcoin wallet provider BitPay and a privacy-focused browser called Brave, but none of them are everyday names like Venmo—meaning PayID is, for now, just one more payment silo, and an obscure one at that.