The X.Commerce Conference was a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco, where Paypal showcased their next generation of multi-channel commerce tools ranging from Paypal Access for quick consumer login, to expanded mobile, tablet and device based purchasing on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game consoles.
Behind all the hype at X.Commerce, at the heart of every move EBay / Paypal made last week was an API. The entire conference was a convergence of the EBay, Paypal and the newly acquired Magento API developer communities. Additionally, acknowledging that HTML5 is the future, Paypal announced they will will soon launch a set of HTML5 API’s enabling developers to integrate in-context, in-app payments into any HTML5 enabled web, mobile or device apps.
PayPal is clearly setting the stage for a mobile enabled world of commerce, which we are also seeing from other providers like Apple and Google, but also industry veterans like American Express. As reported on TechCrunch last week, American Express is laying the groundwork for their vision of the digital wallet and how the company plans to dominate the space with their new intiative, Serve.
Serve is a next-generation of digital payments platform that helps consumers organize their money, send and receive funds, and manage payment requests from a single, unified online account. Right now Serve is a web application that anyone can sign-up for, add money from your credit card, bank account or debit card and begin sending and receiving money online, with your mobile device, and offline using a Serve debit Card.
Serve’s consumer interface is just the beginning. Beginning next year American Express will open up the Serve platform to the developer community, providing in-app payments for web, mobile applications. In a space that has been dominated by PayPal, American Express is looking to take their global banking resource, give consumers the tools they need to operate in this new digital economy, while also providing developers with enterprise quality payment APIs that they can build applications for the future of global, multi-channel commerce.