More details emerged this week on PayPal Inc.'s planned updating of its payments system, which would give developers more flexibility to create tools for online transactions.
PayPal's new system is called Adaptive Payments and is to be formally introduced July 23, according to a 63-page internal document published online Monday by the technology news site TechCrunch.
John Donahoe, the chief executive officer of eBay Inc., said in March that his company's payments unit would open its transaction platform to outside developers this year.
The move would "decrease our own development costs, and the best part is, we can enable millions of developers around the world to build profitable and sustaining businesses with PayPal," Donahoe said in a March 11 presentation.
Osama Bedier, PayPal's vice president of platform and emerging technology, confirmed on PayPal's blog that the Adaptive Payments document is legitimate.
"While we had not planned on the internal documents being shared this early, it is true that PayPal will be the first and only global payments platform open to third-party developers, allowing them to easily monetize their ideas," Bedier wrote.
Adaptive Payments is not PayPal's first application programming interface, or API. Its Direct Payments API, launched in 2005, let programmers blend the PayPal system into their existing checkout process. Through the Direct Payments API, a developer could make PayPal invisible to end users — customers paying with credit cards would not necessarily know that their payments are routed through PayPal's system.
Adaptive Payments would handle more complex payments, such as enabling one party to receive a payment that must be disbursed to multiple recipients. This could help travel agents, for example, who get funds from a customer that must be sent to airlines, hotels and rental car companies.