December 4, 2013, 12:56 PM

PayPal plays Santa, with iTunes in its gift bag

The payment arm owned by eBay begins selling digital gift cards.

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PayPal, the payment unit owned by eBay Inc., today launched the PayPal Digital Gifts online store. It sells gift cards for Apple Inc.’s iTunes service in denominations ranging from $15 to $100. An e-mail promotion sent to PayPal users this morning offering a limited number of $25 iTunes cards for 25% off quickly sold out.

On the gift store site, consumers click which denomination they wish to buy and then click whether the purchase is for themselves or a gift. Consumers who click the “buy for me” option are immediately redirected to log into their PayPal accounts to pay. Selecting the “gift” option pops open a window where the shopper enters her and her recipient’s e-mail addresses and when she wants the gift notice sent. Then the consumer is redirected to log into her PayPal account to pay. PayPal says consumers can purchase gift cards in fewer than five clicks.

Although PayPal Digital Gifts sells only iTunes cards for now, PayPal says it will add more options and promote those on Twitter. The transactional e-retail site is at www.paypal-gifts.com. Consumers must have or create a PayPal account to buy at the site.

Nearly 30% of consumers who shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend bought gift cards, and 80.6% of consumers say they will buy at least one this holiday shopping season, according to the National Retail Federation trade group.

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