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PayPal powers mobile payments for iPhone, iPad app developers

PayPal, a subsidiary of eBay, announced that its Mobile Payments Library is now in open beta and available to developers everywhere the Apple App Store is available.

The Mobile Payments Library is a way to add checkout functionality for physical goods and services sold through applications on the iPhone, without having to take additional measures for keeping customers’ personal financial information secure. PayPal’s Mobile Payments Library currently supports both the iPhone and iPad, and will be available on additional platforms soon.

“Last year we transacted around $71 billion, but we were finding that the number of possibilities of how you could use PayPal were severely exceeding the number of applications PayPal could actually address in house,” said Anuj Nayar, director of global communications at PayPal, San Jose. “So we decided to take this fantastic engine we’ve built up for online payments and package it up to allow developers to build it directly into their own applications.

“That’s what the PayPal X initiative is about, moving from ecommerce to a much, much broader range of applications, from pay roll to mobile phones,” he said. “As part of that initiative, the Mobile Payments Library provides a pretty small amount of code that developers can drop it into their application to make it easy to integrate PayPal into their system to enable in-app mobile payments.

“Consumers can enter their PayPal user name and password to pay instead of entering in their entire credit or debit card number and expiration date on their handset.”

PayPal opened its Mobile Payments Library in closed beta to some U.S. developers at Macworld 2010 and the company claims feedback so far has been very positive.

“This is an incredibly important part of our PayPal X initiative,” Mr. Nayar said. “Mobile is at the vanguard of new uses cases for payments.”

Buy the bauble with Baublet
Several applications using PayPal’s Mobile Payments Library are already live.

For example, custom charms by Baublet are available in the App Store, letting users buy and ship photo charms directly from their iPhone.

With the integration of PayPal’s Mobile Payments Library, Baublet customers are able to buy these charms with their PayPal accounts without leaving the application.

“Baublet is a great application,” Mr. Nayar said. “The app lets you take a photo and you can create a charm, and in a few clicks you can buy it and send it to your mother or whoever.

“With our Mobile Payments Library, the friction point of payments has been taken care of,” he said.

Other applications that have integrated PayPal’s Mobile Payments Library include Big In Japan’s ShopSavvy and Shutterfly’s Wink.

Application developers can download PayPal’s Mobile Payments Library at

The company launched PayPal X six months ago, and it claims that it has already had thousands of developers sign up and hundreds of applications already go live.

From the launch date to the end of the first quarter of this year, March 31, PayPal claims that $30 million in total payment dollars have been processed across all of the PayPal X applications.

While the iPhone and the iPad are attractive platforms for mobile commerce, PayPal sees this as just the beginning.

“The first version of the Mobile Payments Library is for the iPhone, and it works perfectly well as an iPad developer platform as well,” Mr. Nayar said. “A lot of most innovative development seems to be happening on the iPhone and the iPad, but we will be rolling out to other mobile platforms.

“We’re definitely looking at Android, BlackBerry and Symbian,” he said.