PayPal is moving toward expansion of its mobile reach through a promising deal with international car-service company Uber Technologies Inc. Uber is a popular mobile application for booking car services with a worldwide reach. From now on, its users in the U.S., France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy will be able to pay for Uber services using PayPal for Android and iOS.
President of PayPal, David Marcus, says users who pay for Uber services through PayPal mobile will get a $15 bonus for their next Uber trip, excluding UberTaxi option. To get the discount, add PayPal as your payment method in your Uber app and you will automatically receive the discount on your next purchase with Uber.
PayPal, an Internet payment pioneer, has become a multibillion dollar business after it was acquired by a silicon valley giant Ebay Inc. back in 2002. Despite its cutting-edge money transfer system with worldwide reach, PayPal was slow in advancing to the mobile sector. The new venture proves the company wants to cater to a wider audience of mobile-savvy customers and developers.
Marcus said their experience inside mobile apps ‘were not meeting the bar a year ago,’ adding that PayPal wants to be where users want to see it, partnering with other companies to create ever improving opportunities to satisfy consumers and improve their PayPal experience.
Uber only allows its users to pay via mobile phones, which significantly limits its audience in countries like Germany because their credit card payment system works differently, according to Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber, San Fransisco. The deal with PayPal gives Uber another 137 million of the target audience.
“The PayPal deal helps us go international. For Uber, this is about new users,” Kalanick said.
Transportation services like Uber, Sidecar and Lyft are completely web-based and offer more flexibility than the classic cabs and shuttles. They enable users to book and pay for rides from their smartphones and iPhones offering a more convenient way to pay combined with cheaper rates.
The U.S. market of mobile payments is expected to grow from $20.5 billion in 2013 to $90 billion by 2017, according FORR, Forrester Research. PayPal is not the only monopoly in the sphere, with tough competition from Google Inc. and Square Inc.
We have heard consumers and developers critique PayPal for outdated software that makes it difficult for developers and merchants to use it. The company has been working on acquiring promising startups and establishing a Silicon Valley-based incubator for tech-savvy startups. Moreover, PayPal initiated a Startup Blueprint project, waiving transaction fees for startup entrepreneurs working in the technology industry, namely PC, Android and iOS applications development, gadgets and other technological advancements.
We may see only a part of a big scale project because, clearly, PayPal focuses on software developers working on products for PCs, mobile devices and gadgets. In September 2013, PayPal acquired Braintree, the payment processor, for $800 million. Braintree will develop a new enhanced payment platform for PayPal; we expect to see it available for both PC and Android devices, making online payments ever more streamlined, simple and safe.
PayPal is not a pioneer in acquiring or lending a helping hand to promising startups in gadget and mobile industry. The Internet giant Google has long ago realized the perspectives of the tech startups gold mine, benefiting from partnerships with fast-growing tech and gadget companies. A couple dozens of talented tech startups bloom under Google’s patronizing umbrella in Bay Area. PayPal also has a Boston-based incubator, the Start Tank, which offers comfortable workspace for tech and gadget developers free of charge.