A Redesigned, Slicker PayPal Is Coming Tomorrow; Some Seeing New Look Today

PayPal, the eBay-owned online payments service that is making significant inroads into mobile, is giving its website an overhaul to make it easier for its 100 million+ users to pay and get paid, find help, and potentially start using some of the newer services that PayPal is pushing hard to grow. The redesign also happens to look a lot more touch-friendly, perhaps a sign of how much tablets, smartphones and the mobile web figure today in the company’s strategy.

Some users are starting to see the new look already, and one of them, a TechCrunch reader, sent some screenshots our way. A PayPal spokesperson confirmed that these are indeed shots of the new site, and that it is planning to announce the changes officially tomorrow, and presumably turn them on for the rest of its user base.

So what do we know about the new PayPal? The home page is significantly less busy, with PayPal simplifying how many options it gives users. Gone, for instance, are the two levels of navigation bars at the top (home, personal, business; and “get to know PayPal”, pay online, send money, get paid, products & services). Now these have been replaced with three tabs: buy, sell and transfer.

There is now also a new button, off to the right, that encourages people to “explore” — a new way for PayPal specifically to market its newer services. “We are always creating new ways to use your PayPal account,” it writes. “Explore some innovations that could make your life a little easier.”

It also looks like PayPal has put some attention into improving the help pages but again it’s hard to say whether the changes are significant overhauls or skin-deep: “You can spend less time looking for help and more time getting answers,” PayPal writes in its online tour. The help topics are now at the bottom of the page, rather than the top as they were before.

At this point, it’s hard to tell whether the design will extend through the whole of the site, or whether it’s just for the top level of pages. PayPal says more details will come tomorrow. “Once you log in [past the home screen], everything appears to be the same design,” says our reader, Michael Konen, who uses a Premier account with PayPal. “Maybe those pieces haven’t been turned on yet.”

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