Android Needs a Payment System

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Entering long email addresses and passwords on a smartphone is a pain.

What you want is one-click payments.

Apple’s iPhone offers developers that facility with smooth connections into the iTunes payment method.

Android-based phones have no such native facility.

Google Checkout is based on email and password entry and that’s too clunky.

Rumor has it that PayPal is coming to the rescue and that would be a great play for the payment services provider.

The Android OS is on a lot of smartphones and could help grow PayPal’s base.

Other providers, as this article details, are looking to provide their own alternatives.

It’s an important addition to Android capability because if developers find it hard to get paid for their work, Android won’t get the traction it should. Since Google’s business model is primarily from search, what’s wrong with having PayPal provide the payments capability?

To make it easier for consumers to make payments via Android handsets, a small group of companies last week introduced technology that would bypass the payment methods Google has approved. Zong, a mobile-payments company, says it joined two other payment firms, Billing Revolution and AdKnowledge, to offer payment options for PapayaMobile, a Beijing-based developer of social networking and gaming applications, to offer software developers a set of payment options they can easily add to Android applications.

Numerous programmers lament the difficulty of building payments systems for Android. “Payments are a big problem on Android,” says Sam Altman, chief executive officer of Loopt, a location-based social network that runs on several wireless phones. “It’s not the biggest problem, but when you consider how you’re going to spend your time and resources, it’s certainly something you have to consider.” And the more difficult it is to get paid for products or delivered via mobile apps, the less incentive some programmers have to write for Android.

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