July 6, 2010, 3:25 PM

Mobile simplicity

PayPal is testing a mobile version of its Express Checkout service.

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PayPal is testing a mobile version of its Express Checkout service, with Buy.com among the first merchants to use the new tool designed to streamline mobile payments.

PayPal expects to roll out the service by late summer or early fall, says Bill Zielke, the processor’s senior director for merchant services.

PayPal’s Mobile Express Checkout enables consumers to store billing and shipping info in PayPal accounts. Consumers who want to make a purchase add the product to the shopping cart on the retailer’s web page and then hit the PayPal button. Consumers then are taken to an external PayPal site where they log in and hit another button to complete the transaction.

“There’s a huge movement on the consumer side to shop with mobile devices,” Zielke says. “It is very strategic for merchants to meet these shoppers where they are.”

Zielke expects PayPal to process at least $500 million in mobile payments volume in 2010, up 255% from $141 million in 2009. That volume includes all types of mobile payments, including funds transfers from one consumer to another, not just retail transactions.

The mobile payments service works on iPhones and handsets that use the Android 2.0 operating system. Along with Buy.com, No. 32 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, the service also will be tested by Nike Inc. before PayPal ends the beta phase for Mobile Express Checkout, Zielke says. Nike is No. 48 in the Top 500 Guide.

Merchants that want to use the mobile service must also offer PayPal’s Express Checkout on their web sites, he says.

PayPal is owned by eBay Inc.

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