PayPal Introduces Mobile Payments

PayPal recently unveiled software that will let customers use their smartphones to make payments, as well as a platform that allows consumers to pay for digital media, music and games more easily.

The online payment company, owned by Ebay, unveiled Mobile Express Checkout, a software that will transform mobile phones and other handsets into “digital wallets” that consumers can use to buy merchandise, keep coupons and store loyalty program data.

The company also revealed its new digital goods platform, which will allow consumers to make purchases without needing to leave a gaming, video, news or music site. The system will maintain PayPal’s current pricing for micropayments, which is five cents plus 5 percent of each transaction. The service will be launched next year.

PayPal announced the new tools at the opening of its Innovate 2010 developers conference in San Francisco.

“Mobile commerce is the most significant change in retailing in the last century,” said Osama Bedier, PayPal’s vice president of platform, mobile and new ventures. “We’re aggressively driving this change by redefining checkout on mobile devices for millions of consumers and businesses.”

The new software will not only let smartphone users buy goods from mobile websites over their device, but also encourage people to use their handsets at real-world retail locations connected to the Internet.

The ability to use PayPal at point-of-sale could give the company market share in a $2.4 trillion market dominated by credit card companies like MasterCard and Visa.

Major websites and businesses are lining up to use PayPal’s new software tools. Facebook announced at the conference that it would be one of the first to adopt the digital goods platform. Credit card company Discover also announced that it had created its Money Messenger tool with PayPal, which will let users send money to virtually anyone.

With such major players as Facebook and Discover ready to implement PayPal’s new software, the payments company should gain share in the mobile payments market, which is estimated to grow to $1 trillion by 2014.

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