PayPal, one of the more sedentary companies on the Web, announced something rather odd today: it's opening up an Apps store for developers to showcase their products on. And, funnily enough, the idea makes one think that the online payment system is going back to its roots: it was originally conceived as a payments system for Palm Pilots.
The idea, according to Osama Bedier, VP of PayPal's Platform Business Unit and Emerging Technologies, is to make PayPal a way for paying for ordinary items, such as gas and convenience-store items, via customers' smartphones. He sees the opportunity as "gigantic. There's a lot of opportunity in breaking out of the shell of e-commerce," adding that "the wallet should live in the cloud."
Anyone who thinks that PayPal had lost its way after Elon Musk zoomed off to Tesla, may have to eat their thoughts. "We have a huge emphasis on interacting with developers. They're our customers, along with consumers and merchants," he said at the FOWA conference in Miami Beach yesterday.
"We want the simplest way to make payments available on mobile applications. We want, with a few lines of code and a few minutes, to let any developer put payments inside the app." The idea is redolent of eBay's move last year, when it transformed its Selling Manager suite of merchant tools into a storefront for externally-developed applications. So, no PayPal logos that turn into a thirst-quenching glass of beer which empties when you tip your smartphone, then.
[Via Good Gear Guide]