I just had an interesting two days at PayPal’s second annual X Innovate Developers Conference in San Francisco.
PayPal is making your smartphone smarter, at home, work and play in new ways.
iPhones, Androids and BlackBerries are taking on serious digital wallet duties, literally shaking the way you pay for online services.
Here are some cool working examples shown by attending developers eager to put their innovative ideas into play.
-Want to pay back or burrow money to and from your friend standing next to you? A couple of clicks and a final real “bump” of your phone-clasping hands confirms the friendly transaction. Call it the new deal-making digital handshake.
-You are at a hockey game, in the nosebleed section and are hungry and thirsty. But you don’t want to miss on the game action. Fire up iConcessionStand.com on your iPhone and see the available arena concession shops on screen. Choose from the menus and after a couple of phone clicks, have your coke and hotdog delivered right to your seat at half the average time it takes to walk down to the food stand. You can even buy a souveneir jersey to celebrate the winning goal!
-Feeling charitable and want to donate to your favourite cause? Just Tweet the amount of the site’s Tweeter link on your smartphone using TweetDonate. The app, which got a special recognition award at the conference closing awards tonight, was created by second year Toronto law student, Addy Cameron-Huff. He said it only cost him nine bucks for the URL domain name registration. PayPal’s app development software is free – developers make their cut on merchant transactions, or extra fees like the 99 cents iConcessionStand charges for the seat delivery service.
And PayPal software developers now get their share of consumer transactions, in almost real time.
These cool apps and dozens more, shown at the X Innovate Conference let consumers easily pay with their PayPal account without leaving the merchant’s web site and allowing them to continue on to other transactions, even on smartphones, without having to log on PayPal again.
Some of these apps optionally let you choose a direct credit card transaction.
But the idea of letting PayPal look after multiple credit card transactions, including bank account money transfers, seems so convenient, and as proven, safe. PayPal’s buying power also translates into lower credit card fees for merchants.
The conference, attended by international media and developers, was PayPal’s coming out of sorts. The company is introducing new ways to make financial transactions, beyond their original eBay home turf, from anywhere, anytime with wireless laptops and smartphones.
This includes a competitive fee structure for under $12 micro payments.
PayPal started out as a conduit between eBay buyers and sellers, allowing them to use their already registered credit cards for online purchases.
The company is betting big on doing away with traditional payment methods. “We have already seen the death of cheques,” said PayPal Canada GM Darrell MacMullin.
This week PayPal also announced their expansion into building tools for third party developers to make creative software online applications for mobile smartphones like the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Many of these new apps only work in the U.S., but will soon proliferate into the some 190 PayPal countries worldwide.
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