PayPal courts outside developers

November 4, 2009 by Glenn Chapman
A person uses a mouse at a Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Online payment firm PayPal has opened its software platform to outside developers in a move designed to unleash a flood of creative uses for the service.

PayPal has opened its software platform to outside developers in a move designed to unleash a flood of creative uses for the online financial transaction service.

The company owned by online auction powerhouse marked the occasion with an inaugural PayPal X Innovate conference in San Francisco.

flocked to the gathering, which continues through Wednesday.

PayPal engineers addressed rapt audiences in sessions and seminars devoted to the mechanics of building secure financial transactions into just about anything linked to the Internet.

"The big claim to fame is we made things very easy if you want to pay for things online," PayPal president Scott Thompson told AFP.

"The Internet is doing things to people's lives today that nobody imagined, replacing longstanding industries. At the end of the day, you want to take advantage of that."

The sold-out conference delivered on Thompson's promise two weeks earlier that "PayPal will be the first global online payment service to open its platform to everyone."

The scene featured curtained meeting rooms, bean bag chairs and even classic arcade games such Asteroids, Tetris, and Pac-Man. Tables were laden with snacks ranging from energy bars to gourmet jelly beans and Twinkies.

Companies that had gotten head starts on building PayPal X services into their websites showed off their creations.

Andrew McPhee and Ebony Charlton traveled to the gathering from London, where they launched technology startup as a service to help friends or flat mates divvy up shared expenses.

The were sharing a flat when they devised the application.

"You can keep track of who owes whom what," McPhee said. "Whether you're traveling together or sharing a flat."

Building PayPal X into spares users the "pain" of having to navigate from the Website to take care of money exchanges and lets the service track that payments were made, according to McPhee. used PayPal's open platform to provide a way for patients to pay doctors, saying the move addresses a need in a multi-trillion-dollar health care market.

"They are using PayPal X to improve the way consumers pay for medical bills and doctor visits, making the everyday lives of consumers easier," said PayPal platform vice president Osama Bedier. used the conference to launch an online social shopping community that connects merchants with shoppers in a social setting.

Storenvy uses PayPal X to let shoppers to use one shopping cart and make one payment transaction, even when buying from multiple stores.

"We're bringing shoppers and sellers together in a setting that's extremely interactive and very fun," said Storenvy co-founder Jon Crawford.

"We live in a time when online shopping should feel more like shopping in a real store."

PayPal is following a hot Web 2.0 trend started by Facebook, which became a star after opening its to allow outside developers to make fun, hip, or functional mini-applications for the social networking website.

The move should clear the way for new ways to make online transactions in televisions, touch-screen advertising, computers, mobile devices, and even "smart" appliances.

"It is about how we let you do what you want to do the way you want to do it in your life," Thompson said.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: PayPal opening doors to outside developers

Related Stories

PayPal opening doors to outside developers

October 21, 2009

PayPal plans to throw open the doors of its software platform to enable outside developers to build innovative tools using the online financial transaction service.

EBay's PayPal envisions doubling in size by 2011

March 11, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc.'s name may conjure images of online auctions, but the company is hoping to turn attention to its second-largest business - PayPal - which it expects to blossom significantly in the next few years.

Online shoppers leaving purchases behind

June 23, 2009

People shopping online are likely to bail out on planned purchases before making the final click to submit their orders, often because they are surprised by high shipping costs and other fees, according to a new survey out ...

EBay admits more work ahead for marketplaces unit

March 12, 2009

(AP) -- EBay Inc. has been struggling to improve its online marketplace, and the company acknowledged Wednesday that it still has a long way to go. But eBay also highlighted the strength of its PayPal unit, predicting its ...

Recommended for you

Cryptocurrency rivals snap at Bitcoin's heels

January 14, 2018

Bitcoin may be the most famous cryptocurrency but, despite a dizzying rise, it's not the most lucrative one and far from alone in a universe that counts 1,400 rivals, and counting.

Top takeaways from Consumers Electronics Show

January 13, 2018

The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, which concluded Friday in Las Vegas, drew some 4,000 exhibitors from dozens of countries and more than 170,000 attendees, showcased some of the latest from the technology world.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.