PayPal Joins Forces With Android Pay To Expand Retail Reach

What Happened
On Tuesday, PayPal announced that it is teaming up with Google’s mobile payments platform Android Pay to expand its footprint both within mobile applications as well as at brick-and-mortar retailers. The partnership will allow PayPal users in the U.S. to activate their PayPal accounts in Android Pay and use it online, in apps, and in physical stores. This means Android users will soon be able to pay via PayPal for things like Uber as well as at retail partners such as Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway.

What Brands Need To Do
As one of the most popular digital wallet services in the world, PayPal boasts nearly 200 million active customer accounts and about 15 million active merchant accounts. This partnership should further help expand the mobile usage of PayPal via Android Pay, as it offers a workaround to users who are hesitant to link up their credit or debit cards to mobile payments due to privacy or security concerns. For brands, the continued expansion of mobile payment will continue to simply the ecommerce and in-store check-out experience while also providing brands, particularly retailers, with a chance to integrate their loyalty programs into the process.


Source: Engadget

PayPal Debuts Slack Bot For Convenient P2P Payments

What Happened
PayPal ventures deeper into the world of conversational services by launching its first branded bot on team communication platform Slack. Designed to facilitate easy peer-to-peer payments among coworkers and friends, the PayPal bot let Slack users send and receive up to $10,000 with one simple message of the shortcode “/paypal” and a Slack user handle. The bot is now available to Slack users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

Although this is its first entry into branded chatbot, PayPal is no stranger to conversational platforms. Last October, PayPal joined Facebook Messenger’s beta program to allow bots to accept payments via its service. A month later, it integrated with Siri to let iOS users send and receive p2p payments via voice command.

What Brands Need To Do
Slack currently enjoys five million daily active users and 1.5 million paying subscribers. While that pales in comparison to Messenger’s one billion monthly active users, Slack’s unique positioning as a popular workplace chat app gives it an edge to help brands reach a certain upscale, professional demographic at work. Thanks to semi-open productivity tools like Slack, the workplace is becoming newly accessible to brands. While it’s an obvious place for B2B brands to explore, it may also make sense for some consumer-facing brands to reach their target audience in a work context.

How We Can Help
Based on our extensive experience in building branded chatbots to reach consumers, the Lab has developed a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a chatbot experience supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data. If you’re interested in learning more about this or have a client opportunity, please reach out to our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.



Source: VentureBeat

Facebook Adds PayPal Payments And Notifications To Messenger

What Happened
Facebook continues to build out the ecommerce capability of its messaging platform as it adds support for PayPal. Select U.S. users now have the option to link their PayPal accounts to their Messenger accounts and use it to handle payments and receive notifications directly within the Messenger app.

Previously, Facebook Messenger only supported debit cards for in-app payments, making this PayPal integration the first digital payment solution added on Messenger. Speculation swirled earlier this year that it would integrate Apple Pay as a payment option, but nothing ever materialized. Last month, Messenger enabled chatbots to accept payments directly within chats.

What Brands Should Do
By adding PayPal support, Facebook gives customers a new checkout option and enhances the payment experience on Messenger, which continues to improve as an emerging channel for brands to sell directly to customers. Retailers such as Everlane and Zulily are using the app as an ecommerce platform to connect with customers in a casual, messaging-based context, and other brands have been using chatbots to reach their audiences on one of the world’s most popular apps.

For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016 and our latest Fast Forward analysis on Messenger chatbots. If you wish to develop a branded chatbot to connect with consumers on messaging apps, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: VentureBeat

PayPal Launches New Platform To Proliferate Mobile Buy Buttons

What Happened
PayPal is building a platform for small businesses to integrate buy buttons across platforms and sales channels. Named PayPal Commerce, the new service launches today in closed beta, setting the stage for how PayPal could potentially reboot its platform for mobile payment using technology from Modest, a company PayPal acquired shortly after splitting from eBay. Third-party services will be integrated in the back end to the Commerce platform via a set of APIs, which allows merchants to easily place customizable buy buttons across their mobile sales channels to process digital and mobile payments via PayPal.

What Brands Need To Do
The growing prevalence of buy buttons goes hand in hand with the development of social ecommerce and increasing adoption of mobile payments. Brands selling on digital and social channels need to consider using services like PayPal Commerce in order to translate the convenience of “buy buttons” and the network effect on social platforms into actual sales.

For more information on how brands can better utilize buy buttons to reach prospective customers with an omnichannel approach. check out the Boundless Retail section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: ZDNet

PayPal Acquires Mobile Commerce Startup Modest

What Happened
Earlier today, PayPal announced its acquisition of mobile commerce platform Modest for an undisclosed amount. This marks PayPal’s first acquisition since its split from eBay and signals the digital payment company’s ambition in diving deeper into ecommerce. Modest’s team and capabilities, which includes helping online businesses create their own app or integrate their stores within existing apps, and helping merchants add “buy buttons” into their social channels, will be integrated within PayPal’s Braintree platform, a move which the team described as a cheat code” to get huge scale.

What Brands Should Do
As more and more consumers warm up to mobile commerce, especially on social channels, brands have to be quick to respond to shifting online shopping behaviors. For example, Pinterest’s newly introduced “Buyable Pins” feature, which uses the Braintree platform, allows users to easily buy products pinned from retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus with just a few taps. For brands that aim to create better experiences for their customers on digital platforms, this kind of “contextual commerce” powered by the likes of Modest would be an interesting and potentially rewarding option to explore.


Source: VentutreBeat

Microsoft Updates Outlook With Uber, PayPal, and Evernote Integration

What Happened
Microsoft is rolling out a redesigned with deep integration with a host of add-ins from partner platforms, such as Uber, PayPal, and Boomerang. Some newly announced partners including Evernote, Yelp, IFTTT and Wunderlist will be integrated into the web version of Microsoft’s email client in coming weeks. Through such integrations, Microsoft gets to build out its platform with new functionality, while the partner services get a boost in reaching potential users.

What Brands Should Do
For brands looking to increase audience reach through this kind of platform integration, the Outlook API is available for building your own branded add-ins. Moreover, brands should consider forging partnerships enabled by deep-linking platforms. For example, InMoji can help brands extend reach and build engagement with users of messaging apps via custom-branded, clickable emoji and stickers.


Source: The Next Web

Four Major Brand Activations To Look Forward To At SXSW 2015

It’s SXSW Interactive time again, and the Lab will be in Austin covering the latest developments. The buzz is already beginning, though, with major companies looking to make an impact at an event typically associated with startups:

  1. McDonald’s Hopes To Win Millennials Back
    McDonald’s will be hosting a charging area, dubbed the “Fry-Fi Station”, as well as food truck, street performances, live music, and a lounge equipped with WiFi and TVs streaming coverage of the panels. The fast food company will also be hosting three pitch sessions to showcase the company’s commitment to digital innovation. However, McDonald’s has already attracted negative press by initially opting to not pay bands to perform.
  2. Twitter Plans to Boost Brand Presence
    Twitter has kept a pretty low profile at SXSW for the past few years, with a small pop up-space showcasing ad content and networking with potential partners. Glen Brown, head of content and partnerships, would not reveal any specifics about what the messaging service has up its sleeve for this year, but he did reveal plans to increase brand presence and share a new native video strategy.
  3. New Transportation Options With LyftLine and “Magic Mode”
    In addition to allowing multiple riders to share a car with LyftLine, the company is also unveiling a SXSW-dedicated promotion called “Magic Mode” that will allow attendees to request stylish rides including a 1963 Bentley, 1960’s era mini cooper, a Tesla Model S, and a Range Rover.
  4. PayPal Supports Start Ups
    PayPal is launching a new contest this year that will let startups pitch to shark tank’s Daymond John. The winner will receive one-on-one consultations and $30,000.


PayPal Now Lets You Pay After Delivery

Read original story on: The Next Web

PayPal has officially launched a new Pay After Delivery service in U.S, which allows PayPal users pay for their goods up to two weeks after online purchases are made. New partnerships with Burger King and GoDaddy were also announced to assist the launch. Facing increased competition from Apple Pay and alike, PayPal needs such new features and partnerships to help it stand on its own, once it spins off from eBay.

Paying with Your Phone: The Present & Future of Mobile Payment

Download and read this POV here

With the introduction of Apple Pay, mobile payment is poised to hit the mainstream. The general public feels optimistic about its future, too. Survey reveals that over two-thirds of people believed that it’s likely that mobile payments will become a major way people make payments in stores in the next five years.

But look around. Hardly anyone you know is paying with their smartphones. Why?

Find out the reasons and more about mobile payment by downloading our newest POV here.


What The PayPal-eBay Split Would Mean For Digital Payment

EBay’s decision to spin PayPal off next year could give it renewed life: as a public company, PayPal would be able to issue its own stock to help attract talent and retain its growth, which is crucial considering the fierce competition it faces. Aside from its old nemesis Square, newcomer Apple Pay is a serious threat to PayPal in mobile apps, while Stripe has recently signed major partnerships with Twitter and Facebook, not to mention Amazon’s low-key entry into mobile payment.

Moreover, this move could make PayPal a takeover target, with Google often brought up as a possible buyer as it is eager to compete with Apple in mobile payment. Either way, it seems like the digital payment industry is due for a shake-up.