PayPal wants to lure back developers with new tools

Steven Loeb · March 8, 2013 · Short URL:

New tools include Mobile SDK, JavaScript button and new developer website

Competition in the online payment space has heated up over the last few years, with companies like Square, Eventbrite, and WePay all clamoring for a piece of the same audience that PayPal once dominated. Even Groupon got into the game, announcing last year that it had created a mobile payments system, dubbed Groupon Payments.

Along with the increased competition for users and money comes competition for developers. Developers don't need more than one payments system, and they will choose the company that gives them the best tools to integrate the technology into their apps

Unfortunately for PayPal, the company fell behind in offering the best developer tools. James Barrese, CTO at PayPal, admitted as much in a blogpost Friday, saying "our tools haven’t kept up with the bleeding edge of innovation that the industry expects of us."

Now, in an attempt to get developers back on its side, PayPal announced a set of new developer tools.

"We listened when our developers said they wanted better capabilities from us, and now we’re doubling down on our developer programs to deliver the best tools in the industry," said Barrese.

Among the new tools is a mobile SDK, to allow developers to "deliver great experiences for their customers by reducing friction when it comes to payments." PayPal is making it so that a customer never has to leave the developer's app in order to pay; instead they can just click a PayPal button or intgrate Paypal's technology so that they can scan their credit card.

"Everyone knows that mobile is changing the way consumers shop and pay, and no one more than developers who must have a mobile presence to compete in today’s environment," said Barrese.

Developers will also be able to integrate a PayPal button into their app by copying and pasting five lines of code into their website, shopping cart or a QR code.

PayPal is also giving developers access to new APIs that are built on REST, Oauth and JSON. The new APIs will be able to tokenize credit cards, so that developers can reduce their PCI compliance responsibilities.

"We are beta-launching these modernized versions of our most popular APIs –payments processing and immediate settlement – to make it easier and faster for developers to integrate PayPal into their experiences," said Barrese.

In addition to the new tools, PayPal as also set up a new website to give developers a single location for its sandbox, tools, documentation, and resources they need to build their apps.

"This is just the beginning. We will be releasing new APIs and capabilities throughout 2013, while continuing to support our existing developer tools through this evolution. We will continue to listen to the developer community and rapidly respond to their feedback," Barrese wrote.

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