PayPal has announced plans to open its payment platform to third-party developers with the release of new APIs that enable developers to embed the company's secure global payment system into their applications and platforms.
By opening up its payment platform, PayPal is enabling developers to create new ways to send and receive payments for services beyond traditional e-commerce. PayPal discussed its latest moves at a PayPal Platform Preview Event in San Jose, Calif., on July 23 that was webcast for developers all over. The company also said that it will hold its annual developer conference, the PayPal X Innovate 2009 Conference, in San Francisco in November.
PayPal officials said the company has spent more than 10 years creating its payments network for e-commerce and person-to-person transactions. That network integrates 27 financial networks, 15,000 local banks, 190 global markets and supports 19 currencies, PayPal said. According to a recent McKinsey report, the global payments market represents a $30 trillion opportunity.
"Until now, developer innovation has been stifled by the barriers payment systems impose," said Scott Thompson, president of PayPal, in a statement. "With an open platform, we're solving fundamental challenges people face when trying to pay or get paid and giving people the tools to create new business models for their innovations."
Meanwhile, as part of its pilot program PayPal has empowered several developers to use its new APIs. Companies that have taken part in the beta include Twitpay, a Twitter-based payment service; LiveOps, with its new on-demand workforce service called LiveWork; and Microsoft with its Windows Azure cloud development platform.
"Using PayPal's new open platform, we've dramatically improved the experience of commerce over the social phenomenon, Twitter," said Michael Ivey, CEO and co-founder of Twitpay. "The global nature and ubiquity of the PayPal service helps us deliver a great service for Twitter users."
"The Windows Azure platform provides developers with a scalable, interoperable cloud development environment to build and deploy services and applications," said Yousef Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft. "By allowing the developer community to take advantage of the PayPal adaptive payment platform through the Windows Azure platform, developers will have the opportunity to utilize a billing solution for the Windows Azure platform services they offer by providing customers with an easy online payment program option."
And speaking on LiveOps work with the APIs, Eckart Walther, LiveOps senior vice president and general manager of LiveWork, said: "We were impressed by the seamless integration and the flexibility of PayPal's payment solution to address LiveWork's team-based virtual work force model. With LiveWork, different workers can receive different payment amounts based on client specifications. PayPal automatically calculates and distributes the appropriate amounts to each worker and service provider. Moreover, PayPal's established global payment solution allows LiveWork clients to easily tap into the global work community."
In addition, PayPal officials said the company wants to hear developers' ideas about innovative ways to handle payment in the future. The company asks anyone with ideas to submit them to PayPal and the world via Twitter with the hashtag #changehowwepay and can view responses at www.changehowwepay.com.