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Online payments behemoth PayPal thinks developers are key in its quest for world domination. Late last year, it launched a portfolio of new APIs that PayPal hopes will give developers the ability to create applications that extend PayPal's footprint into markets in which it believes its payment solutions could be better utilized.
But if the credit card associations have their way, PayPal will have to compete for the best developers.
Smartphones have opened up the possibility of turning mobile devices into virtual wallets. And today, PayPal has made a big land grab for mobile payments with its new iPhone app.
In addition to making it easier to send and receive payments from a mobile device, the app uses Bump Technologies to let users share money instantly by touching phones. With more companies getting into mobile payments all the time, this could go a long way to help PayPal retain digital payment dominance. But there's one clear reason this won't replace cash.
Much has been made about the market for micropayments over the years, but for the most part, billing for small transactions remains a challenge for online merchants, especially small and mid-size publishers who sell content and virtual goods.
PayPal, however, hopes to provide some relief later this year with a new offering that makes it easier for online merchants to process micropayments cost-effectively.
There may have been a time when Facebook was hoping to create its own PayPal killer with the "Facebook Wallet," but those days are over. Today Facebook announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with PayPal. Now users can use PayPal to purchase self-service ads and Facebook Credits on the social network.
This is good news for Facebook — and especially PayPal — but what about Facebook developers?
What do Facebook, Gmail and iTunes have in common? By 2015, they might be dominant online payment providers.
At least that's the thinking of Dave McClure, a Silicon Valley startup investor. In a post the other day (caution: heavy profanity), he argued that "in 2015 the default login & payment method(s) on the web will be Facebook Connect, Google Gmail, or Apple iTunes".
A potentially valuable customer visits your site, chooses their products, proceeds through the checkout, and submits their payment details. The worst happens, their card is declined. What can we, as etailers, do to provide these customers with the best experience, and not lose a sale?
When Steve Ballmer repeated the now-famous and parodied words, "Developers, developers, developers", he may have been far more sane than he looked at the time.
From Apple to Facebook, some of today's most successful and popular internet companies are taking advantage of third party developers to extend their products and make them more useful and appealing. In many cases, these companies owe some of their success to developers.
Two-thirds of online retailers say they feel threatened by payment fraud, something which threatens to hold back e-commerce growth in the UK.
The stats come from payment provider Sagepay, which surveyed 1,000 retailers, also revealed a lack of awareness of what they need to do to meet the industry standards (PCI DSS) on payment security.
The UK's online retailers are missing out on potential sales because they are not offering a large enough range of payment methods, and 50% of regular online shoppers' will cancel their purchase if their desired method is not available.
So says a YouGov survey of 2,000 UK web users commissioned by ClickandBuy, which suggests that e-commerce sites should catch as many customers as possible by providing alternatives to credit or debit card payments.
While online shopping is safe for the vast majority of customers, there are still some people who are so concerned about fraud that they are reluctant to enter their card details on an e-commerce site.
According to a Get Safe Online survey (pdf) from last year, 14% of people in the UK are deterred from using the internet due to fear of online crime, so what can e-tailers do to combat such concerns?
Facebook has over 175m users. MySpace has over 125m. Twitter's traffic has grown at over 1,000%.
All three services are considered to be extremely valuable and their popularity is where the value is at. With their users, they're worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. Without them, they're worth close to nothing.
The last 6 months have been sobering for Google. Once at the top of the world, Google has seen its share price plummet and the idea that it would be immune to recession has been proven a fallacy.
So Google is doing what any good company does: cutting out the fat. It has already shuttered a number of projects that weren't going anywhere and is refocusing its efforts on its core business.