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PayPal President Outlines Brave New World

01 June 2010 - 14:46 by Sarah Collinson

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We all know that safe shopping online is something of a revolution in itself. After all, a few years ago, the only type of shopping available to consumers was in bricks-and-mortar stores or via a paper catalogue and the telephone. But now Scott Thompson, the president of one of the online retail era's major players, safe online payment system provider PayPal, has outlined his vision of a future where online transactions are king.

He may, of course, be a little biased towards safe shopping online, as head of a firm that has helped to create the secure workings behind sites such as auction giant eBay, but Thompson does know a thing or two about the direction in which the online business is headed. This is why his recent claims made at a technology conference in Canada are significant. He believes that in around ten years time there will be only online transactions and no distinction between online and offline transactions.

Thompson suggests that future transactions will be performed using a mixture of card services whilst shopping via mobile devices and using online payment systems such as PayPal. Existing retailers will by then, Thompson believes, have made the switch to the online arena, almost without exception.

Rather more futuristic processes might soon be possible, too, with the predicted advent of microchips in goods packaging removing the need for over-the-counter purchasing. The consumer will simply pick up the goods they want and leave the store, at which point door sensors will result in the cost of the goods being automatically debited from your bank account via your mobile device or smartphone - which you would of course be carrying with you at all times.

PayPal is aiming to lead the transition into the type of online world Thompson envisions, with PayPal X designed to allow third parties such as small businesses to utilise PayPal and integrate it into their systems.