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PayPal Offers $150,000 In Developer Challenge 80

blackbearnh writes "As previously reported on Slashdot, PayPal recently released a series of new APIs that allow developers to embed PayPal into their web sites and applications without requiring the user to go to the PayPal web site to complete the transaction. To encourage developers to use these new APIs, PayPal is offering two prizes totaling $150,000 for interesting new applications. The entry deadline to register ideas is December 16th, and O'Reilly has an interview with the director of the PayPal Developer Network that covers the details of the contest. In it, Naveed Anwar talks about why PayPal is throwing money at developers. 'When Facebook opened up their platform, it allowed people to work in that particular environment, in the Facebook environment. When the iPhone opened up their platform, they allowed people to work in their environment which was build the applications on the iPhone. When PayPal was looking at opening up its platform, we are not limited by one particular area. We go into the enterprises. We go into social networking. We go into all the places where payment as a solution is needed. And if we can actually reduce that barrier of entry — because at the end of the day, when anyone is building out a business and anyone is building out an application, they're looking at ways of monetizing it.'"
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PayPal Offers $150,000 In Developer Challenge

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  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:10PM (#30434160) Homepage

    Which is why the current paypal system works better. I dont have to buy a Security certificate for my web store. you order your crap and buy it on my non-secure site, and when it needs to be secure, it drops you to paypal where you verify the amount and click on "yes, send the money"

    I have ZERO interest in using their new system if it will cost me more money by having to buy a cert I really do not need.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slasRABB ... minus herbivore> on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:31PM (#30434422)

    Exactly my thoughts when I heard this. I once implemented half a dozen pretty different payment APIs into a web page.
    There are only two ways to make this secure:

    1. Direct the user to PayPal, and then let PayPal direct him back, sending a special encrypted session id and/or data forth and back.
    2. Embedding a Java applet in the page, which has a certificate, and so can communicate directly with PayPal (encrypted) and your server (also encrypted). Then call a Javascript function, to load the next page, where, depending on the server session state, it shows if you payed or not. (Can also be done right in the applet.) The nice thing here is, that the browser and the JVM can build a strong separation between the page and the embedded applet, essentially sandboxing them.

    I prefer the first variant though, because
    1. It does not require and plug-ins, and even runs in Lynx.
    2. With payment providers offering to brand their payment page in the originating site’s style (while still making clear that this is the payment provider’s page), there is no point in embedding it in the own page anyway.

    Mind you that I implemented both solutions back in 2003/4. So this is very old news, except apparently for PayPal, who seem to have a NIH syndrome.

  • Re:Price Floor (Score:3, Informative)

    by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:49PM (#30434610)

    There are literally billions of dollars waiting to be spent in increments as low as fractions of a cent at a time, and yet the infrastructure and fee systems are keeping that commerce from taking place.

    Infrastructure costs money. Today you can go anywhere - to a store or on the internet - and purchase something with a credit card and the tranaction will be approved in a matter of seconds. It took many years and LOTS of money to create that infrastructure.

    And that's the problem with transactions involving a payment of only a few cents (or fraction of cents). The fee you have to charge in order to pay for all that infrastructure is considerably more than the cost of the transaction itself. The "price floor" is not imaginary or arbitrary, it is real and it is dictated by the cost of the infrastructure needed to handle transactions.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:37PM (#30435168)

    "Paypal has never been anything but a processing center. "

    Actually it's a bank located in Luxembourg since a couple of years. []

  • Re:PayPal is a scam (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @06:03AM (#30442022)

    Paypal in the EU is a regulated bank, registered as such in Luxembourg: Daily Telegraph article []