For PayPal’s grand plan of world payment domination to succeed, it needs developers. And to attract devs, it needs tools that don’t send them running to competitors.
So today, PayPal is launching a new set of developer tools for mobile payments at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The company was actually the first financial company to offer APIs back in 2009, but it’s not shying away from the fact that those early tools aren’t exactly modern.
“It was confusing and cumbersome for developers to tie in [to the old APIs],” PayPal chief technology officer James Barrese told VentureBeat. “Our new API is a REST model, so it’s a very simple and intuitive way for an engineer to integrate with us. Over the years, PayPal [has] introduced different APIs to devs; now we have a chance to look and see what they really need.”
Among the new tools is a mobile SDK, which includes the ability to implement Card.io scanning technology into any app. PayPal bought Card.io last year; the technology lets you input credit card information simply by holding the card up to your phone’s camera. Popular apps like Uber and TaskRabbit have already integrated the technology.
On the API front, PayPal is adding new APIs built on REST, JSON, and OAuth. That’s good news for developers more familiar with those modern technologies. The company is also launching modernized versions of its most popular APIs, immediate settlement and payment processing, to speed up integration within apps.
The new APIs will also be able to tokenize credit cards, so developers won’t have to worry about the headache of PCI compliance.
“It basically solves a lot of the PCI and credit card industry challenges so we can make sure that customer information is absolutely secure, and it gives us capabilities to be able to reference card information,” Barrese said. “Developers want that — they don’t want to worry about any kind of security or being extra careful on their side [when it comes to credit card info].”
Additionally, PayPal is also relaunching its developer.paypal.com website to serve as a hub for all of its developer tools.
Barrese says PayPal will release more new APIs throughout the year, as it aims to build up its services. PayPal just scored a deal with point-of-sale company NCR to integrate PayPal technology into NCR apps. That’s pretty significant, given that NCR has been around for 128 years and is practically synonymous with point-of-sale technology. PayPal also has 23 retailers using its own in-store checkout technology, and more is sure to follow throughout the year.
Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat