Mobile commerce is a huge business opportunity because, at least in the United States, there is not much infrastructure to support it. That's why mobile platform company Appcelerator recently announced its integration with the PayPal API. Now iPhone, Android and iPad developers using the paid version of the company's Titanium framework also get the ability to conduct mobile commerce.
"Paypal is the equivalent of the social graph for commerce," Appcelerator's VP of Marketing Scott Schwarzhoff said. "Once you sign in you unlock the world that's available by this identity." Schwarzhoff's team has created more than simply a payment gateway. The video embedded below shows a demonstration of the supporting features, including social game mechanics. But at the core is being able to charge customers from within your app.
There are other ways to collect money from within apps. If you're making an iPhone app, you have in-app purchases available. This is also exposed via Titanium. And one could guess that Appcelerator has non-PayPal payment options coming soon to Titanium+Commerce, a product we would guess is generically named for a reason.
PayPal isn't the only API that Appcelerator uses. The mobile purchase analytics map shown in the video is driven by the GeoIQ API, which was recently relaunched as the first location analytics platform.
Appcelerator's basic product, Titanium Community, is free and open source. The company offers subscriptions, starting at $199 per month, to access other modules. The new PayPal feature is part of a paid module, though there is a 30 day free trial.
Pricing is too high for the casual developer, but companies are finding the product useful. Appcelerator's customers include MTV, NBC and Budweiser. The model also passes muster with eBay, PayPal's parent company. The auction giant participated in Appcelerator's recent $9 million funding round.