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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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  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:52PM (#30433978)
    From TFA:

    When the iPhone opened up their platform

    What? Grammar aside, if that's true, it's rather more newsworthy than this somewhat confused story,

  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 ( 1310749 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:53PM (#30433988) Journal

    Entering my PayPal login details on some random webpage, without even the convenience of being able to verify the [] in the address bar?

    Phishing begins in 3... 2... 1...

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @02:53PM (#30433990) Journal

    I wouldn't consider it a ploy at all. Essentially this is what Developers and Producers have wanted from PayPal for a LONG time. There are ways to store your paypal account info in other services (Steam comes to mind) but you always had to go to the paypal site to complete the transaction.

    Paypal has never been anything but a processing center. All it ever did was hold your bank accounts and Credit cards online so that you don't have to enter that number in more than one place on the internet. All it ever did was keep the #'s secure, in a sort of "I'll give paypal my money if paypal pays for the product" - thus you only ever have to trust 1 person online. If you ever thought it was anything different, you were sadly mistaken.

    Anyways, this is good, it's kind of a "Here's what you asked for" and a little kicker to make sure the rest of the world knows, to help it take off quicker.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spottedkangaroo ( 451692 ) * on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:10PM (#30434172) Homepage
    Wow, is the above wrong... even if the site is "trustworthy" today and they ship the product, they shouldn't be collecting your password. They could then use that to buy some cool shit from two years later and you'd have no idea what happened and not even have the simple protections your regular old visa card offers. I suspect the paypal API uses OAuth or some kind of token system or else it'd be totally crazy.
  • Re:Wait... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:24PM (#30434336)

    The only reason I use paypal is because I don't trust the website I am on with my credit card. Now I have to log into that site and expose my credentials to that untrusted site. No thank you.

    For paypal this could be great. Customer finds their bank account emptied and paypal will point fingers at the website they logged into. They are just transferring liability with this imo.

  • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:31PM (#30434428)

    After hearing so many stories about PayPal requiring people to sign away rights like credit card chargebacks,

    You can still do a charge-back to Paypal if you paid with a CC. Of course, PP will probably cancel your account if you do that, but that's why you shouldn't trust your PP account too much, and just use it for buying shit on Ebay. If you need to rely on it more than that, then open multiple Paypal accounts; use one for selling, one for buying, etc. That way, if PP closes one, you'll still have the other one.

    and their allegedly arbitrary process of deciding without warning and without due process that you're committing "fradulent" activities, which of course entitles them to take the money from your account or freeze it

    Yes, this is why you should NEVER link Paypal to your main bank account. That's just stupid. Instead, have a separate bank account (at a different bank or credit union even), and link your PP account to that. Never keep any substantial amount of money there; just use it as a place to move money to/from your Paypal account. For instance, if you sell a lot of stuff, have a single PP account just for selling, and link that to an empty bank account. Periodically (every few hundred $$$ or so), transfer money from your PP account to the bank account, then withdraw it (in person or by check, whatever's easier) and move it to your main account that way. Don't give PP a path to your main store of funds, that's just asking for trouble.

    PAYPAL IS FOR ***.

    I won't comment on that, but anyone that trusts PP too much is asking for trouble IMO. However, it is pretty much a "necessary evil" for a lot of online transactions. I have my own little web store I sell some widgets on, and PP is the only realistic way to get money from people all over the world without asking them to send me money orders, which would result in very few sales, or having to pay thousands of $$$ to set up a credit card merchant account (these fees are probably more money than I've made selling my little widgets). It's entirely possible to use PP and set yourself up so that you're protected in case they try to screw you over.

  • by lanner ( 107308 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:35PM (#30434468)

    PayPal operates like, and should be regulated like, a bank. The way they have treated their customers, like me, and many, many, many others, should be a warning to all; You can't afford to do business with PayPal. They will seize your money, and when they do, it will be months before you see a resolution. The horror stories are true: I know, I have mine.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @03:41PM (#30434522) Homepage

    Mod parent up. PayPal needs to become a regulated bank. Until then, take your business elsewhere, to sites that accept credit cards. If someone can't qualify for a merchant account, you probably don't want to deal with them anyway.

  • by tvjunky ( 838064 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:37PM (#30435172)

    I don't know about the US, but in Europe PayPal's User Agreement [] says that it is "licensed as a Luxembourg credit institution". Also I don't really get where all the hate for PayPal comes from.
    Yes I read a dozen times that they froze the account of SomethingAwful or some loud-mouthed bloggers under dubious circumstances, but for me it always worked just fine. Actually I really like PayPal because it allows me to send a seller money that is instantly credited to his account, without trust issues on either side or credit card processing for the seller.
    I also like the security of going to PayPal's site so I can verify the payment, which is why I am quite sceptical of this API change. But apart from that I really don't see how PayPal is bad in any way for me as an ordinary customer.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arose ( 644256 ) on Monday December 14, 2009 @04:48PM (#30435266)

    Or do you really believe they would develop something less secure?

    It's not a matter of belief. Those who are paying attention know this is worse.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken