Paypal is being built from the ground, according to our man at South By South West, Andy Evans, with Sam Shrauger, the VP Global Production and Experience, revealing some of the main features of where the future of the Ebay-owned payment solution lie at a presentation.
Paypal will be "rebuilt from ground up", allowing customers to set rules on how they spend and what account they can use via Paypal. The company will give a grace period of seven days to its customers so that they can change the way they paid for something.
Using its previous acquisition, BillMeLater, Paypal will calculate the risk without any interest or fee incurred for the scheme which will be called Zilla for Money. Expect this to be rolled out globally in the the next 9 to 12 months.
The company "doesn't believe" in a simple digital wallet on mobile only, arguing that users should be able to manage their money the way they want it on any device they own.
A slide shown during the presentation by Shrauger claims that the future is the "Digital Wallet" where money will be managed from the cloud and not tied to any specific form factor; the four features of such a digital wallet will be the it will be open, flexible, smart and personalised.
Another slide showed a new sleeker version of Paypal with a very different user interface. Paypal will also roll out an integrated loyalty point scheme for reward cards and vouchers which will allow you to manage bank cards, vouchers and more from one simple interface.
Paypal's Shrauger also expanded on the fact that a digital wallet is not attached to a physical product as it lives safely in the cloud which means that you don't have to carry it with you which means that it is safer as it cannot be compromised if lost (ed : one would argue that losing your credentials could be bad).
The new Paypal interface will also provide the user with a complete overview of one's combined activity which makes it easier to manage money transactions. For example, using your card in one new town and then another would cause Paypal to infer that you have physically moved to a new place.
Paypal has yet to commit fully to NFC technology saying that it will support NFC when it has reached critical mass, which it hasn't yet. The Loyalty programme scheme could potentially have an impact in the way reward points are placed in a customer's account as it wouldn't depend on physically swiping your card. Points would be added automatically with the purchase.
The integrated approach promoted by Paypal also aims to encourage consumers to better manage their money by offering alerts when, for example their money, by offering alerts when they have spent more than usual on something. Also on the feature list are planning and budgeting tools. to help Paypal users better plan and organise their money. Paypal will start rolling new functionality in May with further updates gradually integrated.
Paypal has more than 100 million active users globally and faces some serious competition from Amazon and Apple which has three times more active users than Paypal.