PayPal, the probable leader in many online purchasing stores, is taking on a new, mostly un-tapped market in “In-App Purchases” in which extra, add-on content is purchased from the app itself, rather than the App Store or Android Market. PayPal announced the new venture in a small, informal announcement on Monday. They also have already received approval from Apple and Google to begin the project.
The details are few, but according to Benelux Country Manager Dennis van Allermeersch of PayPal: “We have found a way, Apple is OK with it.” On Android, the service will compete with Google Checkout for the same purpose and is surprising to some but not so much if you consider the openness of the platform.
Apparently, Apple approved the service because it compliments the current virtual in-app purchasing system and provides tools that Apple currently doesn’t. The new feature on the iPhone is being called “iPhone Library” and at the moment only allows for physical goods.
PayPal describes the new project in greater detail:
“With our iPhone library, you’ll be able to start accepting payments for physical goods and services in a matter of minutes. Whether you’re looking to replicate a storefront you have online or you’re making something unique for the mobile device, this library can help you get paid. You won’t need to collect financial information or make users go to your website to complete a purchase. With our library, we’ll take care of the payment flow and you can keep focusing on making those great apps. Here’s how it will work. You’ll call a method to tell us how much you want to charge and who the money should go to. We’ll then slide up a view for the consumer to confirm the payment. When it’s complete, we’ll slide this back down.”
While not currently available, the In-App purchasing service will be available in the US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Australia sometime in Q2.