Top 10 of 2010: PayPal in Your Pocket
[This was my ninth most popular X.com item last year.]
Mobile phones, aka cell phones or hand phones in certain parts of the world, are unique among the “three screens” because they are always with us and always on. (Well, almost always with us and on: Hopefully you do turn yours off or set it aside once in awhile.) Because they are always available, our mobiles present a tremendous opportunity for information gathering and search, gaming and relaxation, and of course communication and sharing.
But the ever present nature of mobiles also means that they can be a great mechanism for customer interaction and commerce, too. If you have a smartphone with fast enough wireless access, you have probably researched an item you were considering purchasing, perhaps reading through user reviews and comparing prices, while standing in a physical store inspecting the item. You may have even used your phone’s built-in camera to snap a picture of the item, its price tag, or its bar code and then used an application to pull up more information on the item right then-and-there. There is no doubt that mobile phones are one of the smart shopper’s best friends.
Merchants want to harness the power of mobile to connect to customers wherever and whenever they are ready to buy. In turn, PayPal has developed a range of their own applications as well as mobile programming APIs for third party developers. You can read my previous blog post “A quick sprint through PayPal Mobile” for an overview of all the options for consumers and developers.
The remainder of this article will focus on the mobile web API and native smartphone libraries for developers. Read on to learn about the problems that the PayPal X mobile development technologies solve and how to start using them to mobilize your PayPal based applications and services.