PayPal launches marketplace for gift cards, iTunes is sole partner as of now

PayPal has launched a Digital Gifts store ahead of the Christmas shopping season, just in case you need a last-minute gift card and can't make it out to a store.

Consumers in the US will be able to purchase gift cards from "a host of our partner merchants".

PayPal admits the storefront is looking dry right now, with so far only Apple having partnered to sell its gift cards for iTunes, but PayPal says more partners will be added "very soon".

The goal for the Digital Gifts store is security and convenience. Customers can select a gift and price, enter their PayPal ID and password, and send the gift to a loved one or redeem it on the spot. With several scams on the internet, a digital gift card storefront that users know as safe could provide them with shopping assurance.

iTunes gift cards are available $15, $25, $50, and $100 pricing options. PayPal says it also has plans to list "some upcoming offers" and "great deals" over the next few weeks.

According to research from Statista, gift cards have proved to be the most popular gift among consumers for Christmas. In the US, 43 per cent of consumers are expected to buy a gift card during the 2013 shopping season. 

The introduction of a gift card marketplace follows PayPal's announcement last week about its accepting prepaid gift cards from Visa, American Express, MasterCard or Discover through PayPal Checkout