Osama Bedier, Vice President of Platform, Mobile and New Ventures, PayPal
Q&A with Milo Yiannopoulos, Technology columnist, Telegraph.co.uk
LIVEBLOGGED: Some paraphrasing and missed areas
MY: PayPal and Wikileaks…did you do the right thing
OB: we have an acceptable use policy and a team. their job is to make sure we comply with moving moeny around the world, ensure we protect the brand. On Nov 27th we had a letter from US Gov saying wikileaks activity was illegal in US, so we had to close it.
UPDATE: Osama later clarified his remarks, that PayPal had not received the letter itself – Techcrunch have more details
MY: you’re not the only one, Mastercard did it too. Their site has gone down today
OB: this is not an exception to our usual mode, we are targetted [all the time]
MY: what have you being doing since the developer conference
OB: last year, we made decision to open up the assets we have around PayPal. you have to be an open platform to have longevity. it’s not new to web, but new to payments, there was a lot of opportunity and we could only address so much ourselves. so thought a great idea to open up platform. We’re amazed at traction. it was good timing, with the demand on the payment space. We announced in Oct, we are ontrack to move over 1billion [through other apps]. there’s a lot of 3rd party apps. Including our own mobile. we see this the biggest opp for moving forward. In a good year, we will deliver 100 new products, so a 1000 new ones with partners is a success.
MY: so mobile, payments, not new, talking about it for a longtime
OB: something happened in last 18 months that makes you feel this is now happening. we’ve been here in mobile since 2005. In 2008, the first year with a significant amount $25m. this year we are on track to do over $700m, that’s huge. this is growing much faster than 95/96 and we see all of our merchants are taking a different approach to what they did with web – it’s a lot faster
MY: other things? you have had a partnership with Discovery
OB: I can’t underscore enough the significance of the next 2 years in payments. We are going through the next evolution; payments and commerce has changed things. Plastic allowed credit and online..the next phase is digital, the concept of a wallet can’t go there. It’s the wallet in the cloud, to allow you to go back and forth online and offline. we think commerce will change considerably, based on the infrastructure and you bring the best of the web to the store. You should be able to go into a store, if it’s sold out, you should be able to scan and get it delivered.
MY: you may be optimistic about speed. People have relationships with money, like the physical element. Do you think there will be a lag?
OB: Two years ago, yes, I would have said too optimistic. But I point to itunes, the largest music retailer, a computer manufacturer. the trends are accelerating, We know the trends that are occuring. we know that half the purchases in the world are influenced from the web – research, price checks etc. We recently bought RedLaser – iphone price checking. Last year, a third of shoppers were comparing prices through that. We have conversations regularly, with retailers, as they are pushing us to change the process in the store. I did not expect offline merchants to ask us to blur the lines. the most important thing in a multi-channel world is to know the customers. You have to connect experiences and offer them personalised things.
MY: Difficult to achieve. One of the things you don’t get credit for is the cross-world operations. Do you see problems with mobile payments?
OP: the regulatory environment is a challenge in some cases, a opportunity in others.. We are like the universal adpater in payments, we have 10 years, it’s a competitive advantage. So how quickly can we expand. we see the demand accelerating. How do you make sure you can reconcile the differences in environments as you chart a new route. In many countries, the rules are not written yet. In many countries, we are helping to draft the rules, there is a pull effect. For the 3billion who are coming on with just mobile, how do you help them, when no financial infrastructure
MY: the tagline for your dev conference was mobile, social, local. We’ve not talked local yet.
OB: Mobile, the convergence of the 3 is what we are alluding too, creating huge opps. Online, is attempting to hit 8-900billion mark in next few years. globally theres 30-50trillion dollars. so the key is the other 96% of commerce that is not online yet. that is about to change.
MY: Your vision for the future?
OB: all of this brings commerce to where it should be, where it was. Local, people who knew you. it felt like a closer relationship a 100 years ago, and it could be possible again. the tech will let the store know you are there, you could get an offer onthe thing you were researching, you get things shipped if not there. you can buy there form mobile…the thing nows you’ve bought it so you just take it through the door.