PayPal partnering with Comcast, TiVo for TV commerce

Krystal Peak · June 12, 2012 · Short URL:

Brace yourself for the ability to buy what you see on TV

I better start saving up my money because this fall I will be able to buy items right off my TV. This announcement came through this morning at the TV of Tomorrow conference in San Francisco where EBay’s PayPal payment service stated that it is partnering with Comcast and set-top box maker to let television viewers donate money and buy goods with a single click of their remote.

Goodbye money, hello UPS and FedEx deliveries.

PayPal’s Scott Dunlap, vice president of emerging opportunities, said that the company was collaborating with these cable innovators to explore opportunities that allow purchases to be made through the TV using the remote control or a companion device such as a smartphone or tablet. 

This new dive into what has been coined “Tcommerce” would also include a way for consumer to scan a tag and finish paying elsewhere, while the TV program continues playing.

According to a survey conducted by PayPal in October 2011, half of TV subscribers (49%) show an interest in purchasing goods and services linked to the content they’re watching on TV, either directly from their television through their remote control, or on a companion device (smartphone or tablet).

That is a staggering and exciting number of people that really want to buy the outfit or couch their favorite TV character has.  Also, nearly 30% of those same TV subscribers said they would use PayPal to make those purchases.

It is also a boon to PayPal that 89% of respondents knew about PayPal as an online payment service with 61% of them having used it in the last 12 months.

All of these components seem to be queuing the service up for growth in other verticals – much like they have done entering the mobile payment field against Square, LevelUp, PayDragon and credit card services Master Card and Visa.

Nielsen also found that consumers who watch traditional television are engaged approximately 5.1 hours a day, whereas consumers who surf the Internet are engaged less than an hour a day. (Oh my, what does that say about those that engage in both?) So having a captive audience that is seeing all these items is a clearly an uncharted and excited field that needs to find a best way to leverage.

Already PayPal powers 20% of global e-commerce sales and a third of purchases made on mobile phones and tablets, Dunlap said.

PayPal currently expects to process $7 billion of mobile payments this year, and has dipped its toe into the Tcommerce sector with its “Watch With EBay” tab to on its iPad app that lets tablet users buy products shown in ads they’re watching on TV.

“Consumer expectations from phones and tablets are coming directly to television,” Dunlap said. “A lot of the pieces are coming together to make T-commerce possible.”

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PayDragon is a mobile shopping app that lets smartphone users order and pay remotely for goods and services. PayDragon translates the convenient one-click shopping experience to the real world by enabling consumers to easily browse, scan, shop and pay for items on the go. Launched by the team behind Paperlinks, a leader in QR code marketing and mobile commerce, the PayDragon app is available for free on iPhone and Android

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LevelUp is the pay phone app. It lets you pay with your phone to save time and money at your favorite local businesses. To get started, visit or grab the free app for iPhone & Android. Based in Boston, MA, SCVNGR + LevelUp is funded by Google Ventures, Highland Capital Partners and Balderton Capital.