Today is the first day of PayPal’s much-hyped PayPal Innovate X 2009, the payments company’s first dedicated developer conference. PayPal, which reported strong earnings recently, is hoping to engage developers in producing applications on top of PayPal’s newly released API. We reported on parts of the open platform here and here. PayPal is already testing the platform with startups Payvment, FundRazr, Lottay and TwitPay. PayPal is officially opening up its PayPal X platform to developers and also unveiling additional APIs at the conference and will be presenting a roadmap for its view of the future of payments.
Taking the stage this morning for the keynote address is PayPal’s senior director of PayPal’s developer network, Naveed Anwar. He says that PayPal X, the new platform, is officially open. PayPal moves over $2200 dollars per second. John Donahoe, eBay’s CEO, takes the stage next. He says that this is an important marking point in the company’s history. The bottom line message is that working together with developers to unleash the next wave of payments technology. Donahoe admits that eBay was not know as the a bed of innovation but saw the opportunity in PayPal. Marc Andreessen has been a huge part of technology playing a growing role at eBay, says Donahoe. PayPal was given an unlimited budget to hire talent and develop key innovations.
Online payments only represent 5 percent of payments worldwide, Donahoe thinks that online payments should be higher than 20 percent. He believes consumer behavior with regard to payments will change radically in the next few years. This year the eBay app on the iPhone will do $500 million in volume, with PayPal integrated in the payments system. He says he thinks PayPal will be bigger than eBay in time, which he has said before. He wants to double PayPal’s reach in the next two years. The developers are a critically important part of PayPal’s future, with the company’s role to provide robust platforms, such as PayPal X.
Scott Thompson, PayPal’s president now takes the stage. Thompson says cash is obsolete. PayPal has been successful because the company has met customer needs for a safe secure, way to pay online. Thompson says the industry has been slow to embrace payment technologies, not because the ideas were bad but because it’s a very complicated issue.
Today, PayPal opens up its platform, called PayPal X, to all developers. X was originally PayPal’s API platform in its early days. There are more than 78 million active PayPal account in nearly 200 international markets. Thompson says that that there is a lot of opportunity in the mobile space, specially in India. But PayPal has further ambitions-to become the “wallet” that transcends across mobile, computers, and more.
Vice President of PayPal platforms, Osama Bedier, also takes the stage, says that PayPal will complete transactions valuing $70 billion dollars, which is pocket change compared to the $30 trillion that consumers spend globally. Bedier says PayPal will be introducing new APIs and pricing models.
The Adaptive Payments API is the easiest way for developers to move money. Developers can build applications including pre-approvals, currency conversions, and pay anyone, chained payments and parallel payments. PayPal is also launching Adaptive Accounts, another API that lets developers develop applications that let users just enter their PayPal username and password. PayPal is also unveiling a pricing model. The model is a $0.50 cents flat free per transaction or 0.75 percent of transaction depending on user cases.
And PayPal is even gaining traction from large tech companies to integrate the new API. This morning, Sun Microsystems announced a partnership with PayPal to support for-fee applications submitted by developers for distribution in the Java Store. Utilizing the new Adaptive Payment API from PayPal, consumers can authorize the Java Store to bill against their PayPal account so they can simply click the “Buy” button and never have to leave the store. In addition, when a customer makes a payment in the Java Store Beta, the application owner also gets paid at the time of the purchase. This way, the developer immediately receives the revenue and knows exactly how many people have purchased their application. Microsoft Azure is also integrating PayPal’s new API in its offerings.
PayPal is also seeing adoption across social networking sites growing 20 percent, month over month. Payvment, a shopping cart web service that we wrote about here, is using PayPal’s API on Facebook. Payvment lets anyone set up e-commerce retail stores on Facebook, using PayPal’s Adaptive Payments API.
ShopSavvy, which makes apps for the iPhone and Andoid, which allows users to scan a bar code and then gives you a list of pricing of the items on different e-commerce sites. Now the app is using PayPal’s API to let users buy the product they’ve scanned from a website (without having to go to the e-commerce site) directly from within the app.
And in it’s own Oprah moment, PayPal announced that it was giving away netbooks to everyone in the audience of the conference. Google made a similar move at their developer conference, giving away free Android phones.