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Programming The Almighty Buck

PayPal To Open App Store For Developers 63

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-pay dept.
angry tapir writes "PayPal will open an applications store this year where developers can offer their wares, the latest step in the company's multi-pronged strategy to deepen its relationship with external programmers. Developers have a big opportunity to offer applications for merchants and consumers that PayPal doesn't have the interest or resources to build itself, according to a PayPal official."
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PayPal To Open App Store For Developers

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  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:59AM (#31270992)
    Isn't this just going to piss off the government of India even more? They're already holding developer's PP accounts under suspicion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Culture20 (968837)
      Mods, Parent isn't off topic. Who are the developers whom Paypal seeks to exploit with their app store?
      • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pacificleo (850029) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:26AM (#31271182) Homepage
        this is more to do with keeping Google Check out at bay . Checkout is default payment method in Android .with all the transaction moving to Mobile phone this can threaten paypal's core business sooner or later . interesting time ahead .
        • Re:Hmmm ... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by sammyF70 (1154563) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:33AM (#31271850) Homepage Journal

          considering how Google Checkout employees apparently weren't told that they were in charge of Google Android Aps developers, and basically stall as much as possible if you have any trouble getting the money you made from Android apps, Paypal shouldn't really have any trouble providing a better service. (yes, I can actually back that assessment up. I'm still trying to get ANY of the money I allegedly made by selling Android Apps from Google)

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Next time quote your source, rookie.

      India Suspended From PayPal For "At Least a Few Months" [slashdot.org]
    • by Threni (635302)

      Not as much as it's going to piss off all the developers who try and use it who will inevitably discover their accounts frozen, transactions reversed etc, and that when they try and contact PayPal to remedy the situation find that all the unmanned email addresses and premium rate phone numbers in the world are going to do nothing to help them.

    • <quote>Isn't this just going to piss off the government of India even more? They're already holding developer's PP accounts under suspicion.</quote>

      Do you mean, "Won't the government of India choose to isolate themselves even further?"
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:11AM (#31271060)
    "Hostess Brands, Inc., the largest wholesale baker and distributor of fresh bakery products in the United States, will open an applications store this year where developers can offer their wares, the latest step in the company's multi-pronged strategy to deepen its relationship with external programmers. Developers have a big opportunity to offer applications for merchants and consumers that Hostess doesn't have the interest or resources to build itself, according to a Hostess official."

    The above makes as much sense as the summary and article. Paypal? Software?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tar-Alcarin (1325441)
      This is basically just Paypal crowdsourcing their own app-development. (Think different web-apps and store-fronts etc. that work with Paypal solutions.)

      If it works out well for them (which it seems to have done for eBay), we may see more of the same sort in the future.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "If it works out well for them (which it seems to have done for eBay), we may see more of the same sort in the future."

        Maybe apply that to Slashdot's UI?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FlyingBishop (1293238)

        Giving a large untrusted 3rd party developer pool access to people's business transactions is just plain stupid. I thought that PayPal was as insecure as possible. It turns out we've only scratched the surface. Now they're inviting identity thieves to build automated skimmers on PayPal's own infrastructure.

        • by somersault (912633) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:46AM (#31271358) Homepage Journal

          You have things completely the wrong way round.. the only things this will do is provide a content delivery system for exchanging apps for money.

          I think it's a great idea. Having to register, design and build my own website, link up to some online payment service and write my own content delivery system has always made the idea of writing a commercial app seem a bit of a pain in the ass to me (I know I could do it, but I can't be bothered) - but with this kind of service available it takes a lot of hassle out of things. Now whenever I think about writing a commercial application, I will be slightly more inclined to actually do so as I know that the distribution would require minimal effort on my part, and I only have to be concerned with writing the actual application.

          • Fair enough, I had things the wrong way round. I wish there were an equivalent to the Android or Apple app stores for distributing normal desktop software though. Maybe there already is? How easy is it to get your software into something like Steam?

    • The Apps (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sure there will be PayPal apps that will:

      • Tally the interest you could have earned on the funds that PP arbitrarily frozen in your account
      • Count bogus threats PP gives you about suing
      • Count the number of times PP "customer service" gives you the runaround.
      • Gives you message boxes telling you that your issues are really eBay's problem and not PayPals (even thought they're the same company)
      • Little pop-ups that say "You got screwed!" in the AOL "you got mail" voice.
      • The Customer Service app that hands out random bul
    • The above makes as much sense as the summary and article. Paypal? Software?
      Makes perfect sense to me, afaict the main buisness for paypal is side incomes and very small buisnesses where the seller either can't be bothered to or doesn't do enough buisness to justify setting up a proper credit card merchant account.

      One such small buisness is selling software downloads. Right now you either have to set up your own infrastructure for that (and remember much of the point of paypal is to avoid setting up infrastr

    • It makes more sense really. I'd rather work with Hostess than Paypal.

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      No, it makes a lot of sense for paypal to get into the market for intangible products. Mechanically, their existing business was pretty much already an online store; it's just that they didn't exactly sell anything. Adding a few more servers to dish out files (start selling things) is a cheap way to make more money (compared to getting into the issues of warehouses, shipping stuff, etc).

      From a user's perspective, though, I don't like app stores. But app stores that aren't married to a platform (so that y

    • by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Hostess could definitely get into the apps biz.

      It'd be a piece of cake.

      Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all night! Tip your waitress, try the veal!

  • Are there any (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:14AM (#31271080)

    Are there any developers that actually trust paypal?

    • by Pojut (1027544)

      I think a better question is are there any developers that would want this in their portfolio...?

    • I think the question is "Are there any internet users who actually trust Paypal?"

      I've had a dispute with them for 2 years because they reversed a transaction without asking, and I keep running into small merchants who use them for credit card processing who can't take my card - Paypal has the card number blacklisted, and won't let me use it for any transactions that they handle processing for, even if completely unrelated to the dispute and even if they're just doing back end processing for another compa

    • by nametaken (610866) *

      Exactly.

      Great, so I make a PayPal cart app that makes a few bucks, problem is PayPal locks up my account without warning and when I finally get through to a CSR they tell me to go fuck myself.

      No thanks. Developing for PayPal is about as masochistic as developing for the iPhone.

    • by godefroi (52421)

      It's worse than you know:

      1) There doesn't seem to be that many developers that trust PayPal.
      2) There doesn't seem to be that many users that trust PayPal.
      3) There doesn't seem to be that many users who trust random developers.

      I don't see how this can work out well, and if it somehow does, it'll be proof of what I've believed all along: the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

  • by geegel (1587009) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:14AM (#31271082)

    ... who will not be exactly jumping for this opportunity. The Indian developers of course.

  • by blankinthefill (665181) <blachanc@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:15AM (#31271096) Journal
    If I were a developer, I wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole. Paypal wants to pull more shit with people's accounts? Well, just declare that the app is a 'rogue app' or something. Then they get to play their little games, and THEY probably don't get the bad PR for it.
    • It's more of a factor of if people want to use it than if the developer wants to use it. If this thing really takes off, you'd be hurting your own business by not using it. So the only way to win all around and stay independent, is for this to not take off. And I think the likelihood of that happening is quite high... Seriously, at what point do you just make a universal "app store". Something like what Tucows used to be, but with an installer on the desktop where the site handles all the payments. Is
    • by BlueTrin (683373)
      I second that, I hope that this is not just an idea which has been bulldozed out of a meeting room between marketing and the executive board.

      If you let people develop an third-party application which is using bank account details, you better be damn sure that there will be no problems in the future, in my opinion this is a time bomb waiting to explode when a vulnerability will be found.
  • by meist3r (1061628) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:41AM (#31271300)
    From my experience with Paypal this will be an outright desaster for many people. You can't get a hold of any human being through their shit telephone system. There is nothing except pre-fab email replies. They lock accounts for no apparent reason and refuse to explain themselves. They steal money from their account holders by blocking accounts and not creating opportunities to dispute that. They've stolen money from foobar http://www.foobar2000.org/ [foobar2000.org], the Xorg Foundation http://permalink.gmane.org/gmane.comp.freedesktop.xorg/42548 [gmane.org] and as we all clearly see Wikileaks http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100124/1846137886.shtml [techdirt.com]

    Paypal is a lame excuse of an idea that went right of the window. They try to act like a bank but don't take the responsibility that comes with it. They screw several countries out of taxes because they're situated in Liechtenstein (at least for Europe) which doesn't pay anything. They provide the service of adding another layer of menu forms to a credit card purchase. They don't provide actual added value to most resellers and are currently used as an extortion tool for Ebay customers. On top of that they are a major target for phishing and skimming attacks, cross site scripting and abuse.

    Who in their right mind would do business with them? Oh I forgot you have to. In case you've wondered I've had my share of problems w/ Paypal. They refused to let me balance my PP account from my bank because they are too fucking stupid to get a non-automated verification system for new bank accounts. So while my account was in transfer because of a merger they send the "verfication" (a ridiculous transfer of random cent values) to the wrong sort code and subsequently refused to correct their mistake or let me (who had done nothing but provide them with updated proper bank data) verify the account any other way. In short: Paypal sucks, I've closed my account there and won't be coming back. Ever.

    If that is the kind of servce they provide to their paying customers imagine how brilliantly developers will find working w/ them.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      I've seen "rediculous" enough times now that I don't even give it a second look. But "desaster!" That's a new one. Kudos.

      Where are you people even finding a web browser without an integrated spell-checker these days?

      • I'm from Germany getting lambasted by a grammar Nazi.

        In my defense, albeit obviously w/o merit, I've grown to ignore spellcheck because I switch so often between German in English applications and English in German applications that the thing usually just doesn't know what it's talking about anyway. I'll try especially hard not to fuck up from now on, just for you.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)

          I'm from Germany getting lambasted by a grammar Nazi.

          Ouch. Just typing the word "Nazi" probably has the police on their way.

          I'll try especially hard not to fuck up from now on, just for you.

          Aw, thanks. I feel like we have a special relationship going. I hope the police let you write me letters from "Mentioning Nazis" prison.

          I'd mention that this situation isn't really irony except in the Alanis Morissette sense of the word, but that would probably just get you into more trouble.

          • Wow you're getting more and more sympathetic with every sentence. You got anything less important to do than splitting hairs on Slashdot? Just asking.

            Don't you have students to teach or something?

            Btw. it's totally fine to mention Nazis in Germany. Just don't be one.
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Who in their right mind would do business with them? Oh I forgot you have to.

      Why do you have to? Authorize.NET charges $25/month plus a smaller percentage per transaction and anyone can sign up, probably even get your money faster than with paypal from start to finish.

      Pretty much ever storefront will work with authorize.net since its so popular.

      You could also use Google Checkout instead of paypal.

      I see no reason to use paypal on a site other than 'someone thinks paypal is the only way to go'.

      • by meist3r (1061628)

        I see no reason to use paypal on a site other than 'someone thinks paypal is the only way to go'.

        That's what I'm talking about. It's not like there are no alternatives but it's become the Internet Explorer of ePayment. It's the first thing most people see and never bother to look any further.

  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:10AM (#31271604) Homepage

    With smartphones, PayPal sees a future in which its system can be used to pay at the grocery store, the cleaners, the gas station, and for things like rent and parking meters, he said.

    Really? As long as you can't pay your hookers & blackjack with PayPal, it'll be useless.

    Then there's a long list of people that have been screwed over by PayPal, and that warn you never to do business with them (especially on the money recipient side). Complaints like this http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/02/07/1830222/Paypal-Reverses-Payments-Made-To-Indians [slashdot.org] keep coming in: http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/02/10/0048246/India-Suspended-From-PayPal-For-At-Least-a-Few-Months [slashdot.org]

    And PayPal tries to present itself to users as some sort of bank, but well... it isn't. And from the looks of it, doesn't even want to become one (government oversight and all that crap).

    I've only used PayPal on a few occassions to buy stuff abroad, and it worked well for me. But in order for PayPal to become more commonplace, it needs to:

    1. Clean up its act, start to behave like a real bank. Preferably: register as one.
    2. Remove limitations on where & what for you can use PayPal.
    3. Lower their fees to reasonable levels (like: competitive with direct bank -> bank transfers).
    • Really? As long as you can't pay your hookers & blackjack with PayPal, it'll be useless.

      You can pay hookers with PayPal (just use send money). You can't buy porn with it. There's a difference.

    • Lower their fees to reasonable levels (like: competitive with direct bank -> bank transfers).

      $0.50 flat?

  • I bet they'll still reject useful apps left and right, things like

    • UnfreezeAccount - Unfreezes your PayPal account.
    • ReverseCharge - Reverses charges when you really didn't receive item seller claimed he shipped
    • BankRules - Causes normal banking rules to apply to your account
  • by codepunk (167897) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @10:30AM (#31271824)

    "I want developers to think of PayPal first whenever they hear the word 'payments' and I want to know what it will take to get there. We're willing to do it. We're willing to innovate and experiment on their behalf and hear their feedback," he said

    I don't know about you but I find that hilarious.

    • It makes sense as long as that first thought is "as long as I don't have to use PayPal".

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      That should read:

      "I want developers to think of PayPal first whenever they hear the word 'fraud' and I want to know what it will take to get there. We're willing to do it. We're willing to innovate and experiment on their behalf and hear their feedback," he said

  • Queue the "Paypal sucks" comments. (Actually, I may post a few myself.)

    Here's a question for you solo programmers out there: What is the alternative? If you wanted to distribute a desktop app without striking your own deal with Visa, where would you go?

    • Google.

      But really, if you can't set up a credit card purchasing system, you shouldn't be doing business. The only difference between the Internet and brick and mortar shops is that on the Internet you don't buy from the sketchy place that only takes cash.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        Google.

        But really, if you can't set up a credit card purchasing system, you shouldn't be doing business. The only difference between the Internet and brick and mortar shops is that on the Internet you don't buy from the sketchy place that only takes cash.

        The difference is if you go to the sketchy place that only takes cash you still have rights and you can't lose more than the cash you give them. A condition of using paypal is that you sign all your rights away plus give them the right to empty every account you ever told them about.

    • BMT Micro? (Who I'm with)

      Fastspring?

      Any of the hundreds of third party payment providers that are out there

  • Apps are a good thing, and paypal is the easiest money manager yet. This will be quite useful, at what costs...
  • Everybody and their grandma are opening an "appstore". How is this news? It's just the same that has always happened since the www grew popular: reinventing all the wheels with just another layer of abstraction. Today there is google docs using gwt which uses java to be transformed into seven versions of javascript code, which then is sent to a browser in order to render a text document...Built on top of a document delivery system (www+html+cgi). Same with all these appstores: They're just freshmeat with re
  • 'All new paypal applications, Find a new way for us to rob you.'

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