back to article PayPal moves to embed self in everything

PayPal has officially told the world it will open up its worldwide net payment platform to outside developers, offering a new set of APIs for embedding payment tools into third-party applications and, well, other development platforms. The eBay-owned outfit calls its new developer offering PayPal X, an homage the original …


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  1. Philip Cohen

    Die "clunky" PayPal

    I've said it all before and I will keep saying it:

    Donahoe and some market analysts seem to believe that PayPal’s manning of the pumps will keep the good ship “eBay” afloat. I certainly would not put my money on the “clunky” PayPal for the long term. Assuming that the parties don’t already have some agreement to not compete, I have no doubt that eventually those other well known “loan sharks”, the major credit card companies, will get off their butts and introduce a similar universal card/terminal-less on-line payments system that the participating banks can incorporate into their internet banking systems—and they, at least, will do it properly—and that, my friends, will undoubtedly be the end of PayPal outside of the Donahoe-dwarfed eBay marketplace ...

    I won’t get going on PayPal any further other than to recall that Donahoe has been quoted somewhere as saying that the door is slightly ajar for a potential spinoff of his company’s online payments unit. If this is correct it will be the first logical thought that this guy has ever had; he otherwise clearly has no idea of what he is doing at eBay. If that MBA taught him anything then he should be using all his skills to negotiate with the banks to take PayPal and integrate it into their online payments system—in exchange for an appropriate interest in the consolidated business, of course. Because, the more successful PayPal is, the more likely it is that the banks will finally get off their butts and introduce a like system; if and when that happens the banks will do it properly and will exterminate PayPal for being the irritating “insect” that it is.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    My paypal account got hacked twice* within two weeks of opening it (I closed it after that). Now if I HAVE to make a payment via PayPal**, I create a new account, make the payment and immediately cancel the account. A pain in the ass, but that's how much confidence I have in the system.

    Now more and more websites will be using PayPal after this.


    * Yes yes, I had a 'strong' password etc etc

    ** I pretty much always cancel a purchase if PayPal is the only option.

  3. censored

    Beware Of False Security

    PayPal claim to be secure because you don't give your details to all and sundry. However, outside of eBay they offer little protection.

    I used them to order from a website I'd never heard of, figuring it would be safer than my credit card. The items didn't turn up.

    It turns out, paypal will only refund you if the seller has funds in their account. If they take your money, move it straight to their bank, then don't bother giving you what you paid for, you're screwed.

    Oh, and a different website refunded me for returned items. PayPal extracted their usual percentage from the refund, this leaving me down a few quid for nothing.

    I will no longer use them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Great #

    ".....** I pretty much always cancel a purchase if PayPal is the only option."

    Same here. Screw 'em.

  5. Faster Better Greener

    No one thinks anymore...

    I note the comment cited in the story: "For thirty years, the killer application for electricity was lights, but now, electricity powers everything, and you don't even think about what's behind that power outlet".

    Duh. Just what sources generate the electricity that comes out of the outlet is perhaps the single most important global issue now. And will be for several decades to come. Get the answer wrong and we all fry and die.

    Get the answer right, though, and we could unleash a second wave Industrial Revolution, powered by increasingly clean energy. The effects will be just as profound as the first time round.

    Then, railways both served as the arteries to make new forms of production and distribution possible and themselves catalysed the demand for iron and steel which made the step-change in basic production an economic necessity. In the second wave it will be production and gridding up of clean power on a world scale which plays the role of 1st Gen rail.

    Glad to see the debate about this issue resting on such a well-informed historical and philosophical basis.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Great

    No one HAS to use PayPal. End of argument.

    There's only one thing you have to do in life and that's die, everything else is optional.

  7. ad47uk
    Thumb Down

    not secure

    I have never used Ebay, I seen the problems people have and i don't trust Paypal, If Paypal was the only way to pay then I would just not bother simple as that

  8. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Down

    No, NOT secure

    Like AC @ 03:07 I had my secure password hacked by - or possibly even given to - someone in Iran who proceeded to start donating to various websites on my behalf. I got my money refunded despite PayPal's complex and unhelpful process, which required me to prove the transactions were fraudulent (the Iranian IP address not matching my UK one should have given a hint).

    I've been wary of PayPal since then. Contrary to their claims, the "protection" isn't worth the paper it's not printed on.

  9. Bug

    Re : Beware Of False Security

    Sorry but your comment does not match my experience. I sold an item on ebay it was paid for by paypal and I stuck the cash in my bank account. The buyer then pulled a scam and accused me of loads of provable false accusations.

    Even though I had removed the cash from paypal they instantly refunded the payment to the buyer and I was left with a negative amount, unable to buy anything due to the fraudulent claims of the buyer. This was when I found out that regardless of any proof the seller has Paypal will almost always side with the buyer. I had no choice but to pay back paypal from my account.

    Hence I only use paypay to pay for items. I will never use it, as it is for selling anything again.

  10. Pheet

    Re: No one HAS to use PayPal

    For making payments yes. For accepting online payments, it's a different matter.

    The problem with Paypal is that it has no real competition. Google checkout is only available to US & UK sellers(and I suspect many people trust google not much more than paypal/ebay either). Amazon's Flexible Payments Service is yanks only, thus not that flexible really.

    The alterative of accepting payments online oneself is often unfeasable. Try getting a merchant account in the UK if you're a small startup wanting to sell on line. Or a developer wanting to accept donations for software - the high fixed costs (business account+merchent account+payment gateway fees) means you'd make a loss most months.

    Alertpay comes accross as a bit dodgy, and moneybookers doesn't have the ability for customers to seemlessly pay by credit card. 2checkout charges more than paypal for each transaction IIRC (+ the initial $49 sign-up fee), and also "promotes" customers to pay via paypal now.

    If there was a serious contender to Paypal, then they'd begin to sort their act out.

    The new APIs sound nice though, lets see how it goes.

  11. Eddie Johnson

    Give me a break

    Basically these APIs will allow third parties to write low quality software into which I'm supposed to enter my lusername and password? Adding yet another weak link to an already untrustworthy chain?

    The whole point to PayPal was at least you weren't providing your details to each individual eBay seller, now they expect uou to pass your secure info through various software programs and web sites? And its all safe because there's a little lock icon at the bottom of the window.

    Oh hells yeah, sign me up!

  12. Jean-Luc

    I can't wait!

    A while back I wanted to actually pay for Skype Out. To thank Meg for spending 2.6B to provide me with free VOIP.

    Only $30 for 1 year. Paypal only :-(. First: standard CC information + security # on back. Then it asks for some kinda Visa security site that I only seen once before, probably on another Paypal binge. I root around and finally find it. Now Firefox tells me that there is a known phishing mechanism being used to redirect me to another site. Probably legit, coming from them, but I was fed up and annoyed, so I bailed.

    So, how much security do they actually need? If my account CC bounces, I can be cut off, from their Skype service, within a week or so. No lost merchandise, no 3rd party exposure. Less than $1 of lost revenue. Versus a lost sale in this case.

    If they can't even get this kinda klutziness fixed, on their own service, how much would you, as a business, trust them to manage your risk tolerance?

    Last time I was at a Paypal only site (flower delivery), I called them up, gave them my CC old school. And a lecture on how much Paypal only sucks.

  13. Emerald

    No integrity

    A couple of years ago I would have said Paypal was great but about a year ago I found it impossible to work with them. I bought a product from England, it never arrived so I filled in the required paperwork. Their only reply was that because it was from out of the country I should give it more time. They didn't want to discuss it and refused to accept the paperwork. We discussed that the time period for complaints was closing in fast but they assured me that out of the county cases were different. I had dates, names, etc but in the end it didn't do any good. I again filled in the forms and was then told, it was too late and they were not responsible. Period, end. No more discussion, no customer service, nothing.

    I do a lot of business over the net but when I see a company that only accepts Paypal I usually find other suppliers. I've told companies why I would not use this group but business is business and for some, it's the only way they can collect their payments. Too bad because this could have been a great company.

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