PayPal acquired a Chicago based company called Braintree in November of last year for around $800 million, with the aim of integrating its Venmo Touch payments option into its own payments business. A little more than ten months later, and PayPal are introducing it's One Touch Payments system that promises to be the quickest way to make a payment on a mobile device.Thus eschewing the necessity of having to whip out a physical bank card every time you want to make an online purchase on your mobile, saving time and effort.
How does it work? The first time that a purchase is made with a compatible app, the user will be sent to the PayPal app to authorise them to make payments on their behalf, before going back to the merchants app to complete the transaction. After the initial set-up on the first purchase though, the shopper will be able to forego having to enter usernames, passwords or card information and will instead be able to simply click the 'Buy' button, letting PayPal's One Touch take care of the payment. In theory, it sounds good, anything that can improve the experience of making purchases on your mobile is good for the consumer, with merchants being able to take advantage of PayPal's 70% higher conversion rate than non-PayPal transactions.
As to how secure the app is, PayPal says that they and Braintree will provide the industry's best fraud management tools, with transactions being monitored and subjected to common data and behaviour analysis, much like PayPal does with the rest of its business. In addition, all PayPal transactions include Seller Protection to help guard against fraudulent buyers.
In order to reach as many of its 152 million active users as possible, the One Touch Payments app is platform agnostic, meaning that it will be available for Android and iOS, although there are no details as to whether PayPal will support Blackberry or Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.
The One Touch option is presently in beta form, with PayPal and Braintree offering it to selected merchants in the US using their Braintree v.zero SDK. You can sign up for the beta here. The SDK offers compatibility with all major credits cards, debit cards and PayPal of course. One Touch should become available to everyone in the coming weeks, with users seeing the functionality appear in their favourite apps as time goes, with the only necessity being that the PayPal app has to be installed on your device.
PayPal and Braintree's One Touch app certainly sounds like the payment method that mobile users have been waiting for. It should make it easier to complete a transaction on the move, as it can be quite frustrating making an online purchase on your mobile whilst out and about and having to get the bank card out to type in its details. The one bad thing that immediately strikes me is the ability to make impulse purchases, the amount of times I have suddenly thought 'Do I really need this cable?' midway through entering the card details has saved me a pretty penny or two. If PayPal can convince merchants, both large and small, of the usefulness and flexibility of its One Touch mobile payments method, they could have a winner on their hands.
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