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EBay’s PayPal launches Send Money BlackBerry app

PayPal has launched its Send Money application for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones.

Already available for Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android handsets, the PayPal application is now free to download from BlackBerry App World. The application lets BlackBerry users send money to friends and family worldwide from their PayPal accounts.

“We started to focus on smartphones a little over a year ago because we realized that the user experience is much better on those devices,” said Eric Duprat, general manager of mobile at PayPal, San Jose, CA. “If you want to have a nice experience, you need to have a decent screen and a decent keyboard to make it happen.

“The app is becoming very discoverable through Apple’s App Store and Android Market and now RIM’s App World,” he said. “We’ve released an app for each of these stores, because we’re trying to have coverage which is broad enough to cover the major platforms right now.”

“Any BlackBerry smartphone user who has bought an application on their phone is already familiar with PayPal, as we provide the payment system for BlackBerry App World.”

PayPal lets members send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing.

With more than 78 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce and mobile commerce. PayPal is an eBay company and is made up of three online payment services—the PayPal global payment service, the Payflow Gateway and Bill Me Later.

PayPal is seeing increased consumer acceptance of making mobile payments and says that the mobile commerce ecosystem is evolving quickly (see story).

Send Money for BlackBerry
PayPal claims that its application enables a safer and easy way to send mobile payments.

Users can send money to anyone in their contact list, eliminating the need to remember email addresses and phone numbers.

Users can also check their recent history and account balance directly from their BlackBerry smartphone.

The PayPal application is free to download and use, and is available on BlackBerry App World in the United States, Canada, Britain, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Australia.

There is no charge for making a payment directly from a bank account, although there is a fee for making a payment using a credit card account.

The core demographic of the SendMoney application is PayPal members, mainly young, affluent males.

The application is currently featured within BlackBerry App World, and there is a campaign to promote the application on the BlackBerry Web site.

PayPal has been ramping up its mobile initiatives steadily over the past year.

“In addition to Send Money, we’ve enabled the RIM AppWorld, so when you pay, you use PayPal,” Mr. Duprat said. “We’re working with a number of other app stores to use PayPal as a way for consumers to pay for apps, as well as a way for merchants and app developers to sell goods and services through various app stores.

“If you want to sell goods and services via an app, iTunes does not provide a way, so we’ve introduced M.E.P.—mobile embedded payments—which allow developers to drop a piece of code into an iPhone application to embed a PayPal payment mechanism within the app,” he said. “It takes two minutes to drop this code into an application and make it work.

“We plan to make available check-out capability for large merchants to integrate with existing online platforms, as well as with iPhone, Android and RIM app, as a lot of merchants are considering building an app to provide a better value proposition for consumers, and we’re making it as easy or easier to pay on the phone as it is online.”