By Aimee Chanthadavong

PayPal and its developers are teaming up to push mobile shopping into the main stream.

Adrian Christie, PayPal Australia spokesperson, told Retailbiz that online and offline shopping is becoming blurred with the fast uptake of web-enable mobile devices.

“These range from phones to tablet devices.  From the consumers' perspective, there isn't a vast difference between a desktop application and a mobile application, as long as it works,” he said.

Already offering mobile apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry, PayPal has announced the availability of the Mobile Express Checkout, a two-click checkout experience allowing customers to opt-in and remain logged in across apps.

It will also be adding functionality to the Mobile Payments Library by supporting preapproved, chain and split payments as well as adding a location-based feature to allow PayPal iPhone app users to find businesses accepting PayPal at any time.

Further, device manufacturer VeriFone is collaborating with PayPal to offer merchants the ability to take credit card and PayPal payments anywhere using its PAYWare mobile merchant app.

Also, PayPal has formed an alliance with mobile, desktop and iPad applications platform designer Appcelerator to allow merchants to build apps on all three major mobile platforms, which is expected to launch in 2011.

According to Christie the key to mobile check-out systems is providing merchants and consumers with convenience.

“More so than on a desktop computer, the consumer wants to pay with as little friction as possible.  The merchant benefits in this scenario as it increases the conversion rate of customers.  The PayPal mobile payments solution will provide merchants with a secure payment solution that it both quick and convenient for the customer,” he said.

“Devices that make it easier or more convenient to process a transaction will gain traction, and we are already observing that trend in some categories. 

“For example, eBay for mobile devices has seen explosive growth as consumers casually browse for items while on the go. Event cinemas provide another great case study, they have developed a mobile experience that makes it easy for you to browse movie session times and then purchase your tickets.”

PayPal expects more than $700 million in mobile payments to go through its system by the end of 2010.