PayPal takes aim at developers, charities

Online payment gateway PayPal is seeking to expand beyond its traditional eBay user base by targetting developers and non-profits

PayPal will target developers as it seeks to expand beyond its traditional eBay boundaries.

“There is demand out there for PayPal and payment gateway expertise,” said Glenn Lim, PayPal’s general manager of alliances.

“Typically it’s the developer that recommends what payment regimes the client will use,” said Lim. The company will trial and launch its Certified Developer and Partner Program in Australia, before rolling it out in other jurisdictions.

According to Lim, more than 50 per cent of PayPal’s approximately $US2 billion in annual revenue already occurs outside of its corporate parent, the online auction house eBay.

Ebay acquired PayPal in October 2002 for $US1.5 billion.

PayPal has around 145 million individual account holders; approximately half of those accounts are active during any twelve month period. There is approximately $US3 billion held in those accounts at any one time, and that $US3 billion is replenished on average every two weeks.

The move to target developers comes on the back of PayPal’s desire to have a greater range of online – and offline – businesses use its payment systems. “We want it to be the payment mechanism of choice,” said Lim.

Less than 20 per cent of charities have online payment or donation mechanisms in Australia,” he said. PayPal will roll out a widget that will allow non-profits to simply add a PayPal button to their sites.

“Merchants see a 14 per cent increase in transactions when they offer PayPal,” Lim said, adding that charities that have PayPal typically have increased revenues. “People might go there to donate five dollars, but find that they have fifteen dollars in their PayPal accounts,” he said. “And so that’s what they choose to donate.”

PayPal is also targeting local government, with North Sydney Council becoming the first to offer PayPal as an option for paying rates. “Following the Bill Express collapse we wanted to have another payment option,” said a spokeswoman for North Sydney Council.

“We also wanted to move with the times.”

The spokeswoman said that no payments have been made through PayPal – simply because the rates notices haven’t yet gone out. “We expect a gradual take up after they go out next week,” she said.

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