PayPal everywhere. That could be the slogan of the online payment company's expanded Global Payments Platform, following an announcement Tuesday of new application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it easier to integrate PayPal into third-party applications. The announcement at the PayPal X Innovate 2009 conference in San Francisco also included a new portal and introductory pricing for developers.
The updated Adaptive Payment APIs expand payment capabilities for multiple recipients and multiple platforms, including mobile devices.
Funds Transferred in Seconds
Osama Bedier, PayPal's vice president of platform, said the new software development kit for mobile will allow a developer to "just tell us how much you want to get paid and what the payment is for, and the funds will be transferred in seconds, not days or weeks."
New capabilities in the APIs include currency conversion for global payment applications and a Pay Anyone option, so financial institutions can let customers send money when they are logged into their bank accounts without needing a PayPal account.
Developers can also now create "reusable payment agreements" between buyers and sellers. Payment approval takes place online, but the actual movement of money can take place offline, at various intervals, and through devices that do not need to be online at the time.
The APIs open up PayPal's payment system to developers. Upgrades also include the ability for developers to create person-to-person or business-to-business solutions, and allow developers to take a percentage of a transaction.
Security and Mobility
With parallel payments, applications can let buyers send money to several recipients at once, which means not only can different items be purchased from different sellers at once, but payroll applications are also possible. A new pricing model to entice developers will begin in the second quarter of next year.
Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said the announcement means the PayPal payment mechanism can now be integrated into a wider array of applications and device types.
PayPal is trying to open up its platform to developers, she said, which will give it a larger presence. Noting that the company had "a thousand developers" for its beta program, DiDio said developers can now embed PayPal and "do it for an affordable price, in a way they haven't really done before."
"No one is competing with PayPal directly," DiDio pointed out, adding that while credit cards are still prominent for buying, PayPal is becoming more prevalent in accepting payments as well as in making payments.
She also noted that PayPal is emphasizing its security measures, which, along with mobility, are among the top concerns for developers and businesses.