Smartphones triggering mobile money

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The uptake of smartphones by consumers will act as an important trigger for mobile payments services in developed countries, claims PayPal.

Whereas SMS and WAP were initially promoted as suitable platforms for financial transactions, Eric Deprat, general manager for mobile at PayPal, now believes the large-screen capabilities of the latest smartphones will significantly boost the widespread use of mobile transactions.

‘We have observed significant growth in the use of the mobile PayPal service since we launched our iPhone application,’ says Deprat. ‘We expect this usage to climb further when we unveil the PayPal app for the Android platform and other smartphones.’

According to PayPal, mobile users in developed countries are much more inclined to use mobile banking services if there is a sophisticated user interface that provides a quick, easy and satisfying experience. ‘The number of downloads from the iPhone app store of the PayPal app has been a huge success,’ claims Deprat. ‘We’ve been impressed with the response and very pleased with the result.’

The company says it is only days away from launching an eBay downloadable app for the iPhone, and promised to invest more in the near-term to make its mobile money services more broadly available on handsets.

Later this year Deprat says that PayPal will open its payment platform to allow others to move money electronically. ‘This will mean that a large number of our payment APIs will become available to partners involved with handsets, set-top boxes and other consumer devices. We expect this move to make for a very interesting ride.’