When PayPal’s parent company eBay agreed to buy payments startup Braintree last year, the companies boasted of the mobile-payments innovation to come. A little less than a year later, the companies are beginning to back up those promises.
PayPal is unveiling One Touch PayPal, which will let shoppers who have downloaded the PayPal app pay with essentially one touch in the apps of participating merchants. Merchants who want to enable this payment option in their apps need to use Braintree’s new software development kit. The goal is to strip away some of the annoyance shoppers feel when trying to enter payment information on the small screens of phones, while simultaneously boosting conversion rates on the apps of Braintree merchants.
“We think … this will be the absolutely easiest and safest way to pay on a mobile device,” Braintree CEO Bill Ready said in an interview. “A couple of years from now, if you encounter anything apart from this kind of experience on mobile, you’ll think it’s archaic.”
One Touch PayPal evolved out of Venmo Touch, a similar one-touch option offered to shoppers who had accounts with money-transfer service Venmo as they shopped across apps that ran on Braintree’s payment system.
This is how the new payments flow should work when it rolls out widely: A shopper purchasing from a participating app for the first time will be redirected to the PayPal app to authorize the payment information before being redirected back to the merchant’s app to complete the purchase. On every subsequent purchase, the shopper will simply press the “buy” button to complete the purchase without having to enter any usernames, passwords or card information.
If it works as promised, mobile shoppers should appreciate the simpler checkout experience. Of course, it’ll only be useful to them if enough businesses integrate the new payment flow into their apps.