PayPal Splits From eBay to Play the Field

Mobile Biometrics

PayPal was the first payment company to support the Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor for transaction authentication.

eBay Inc. has announced that PayPal, its online payment subsidiary, will go its separate way as a publicly traded company in 2015, according to a new Internet Retailer article by Zak Stambor.

The split doesn’t come as a surprise. As Stambor notes, whereas eBay purchases accounted for 50 percent of all PayPal transactions in 2008, that number is now down to 28.6 percent over the last year, and appears set to sink lower. Moreover, competitors are entering the market, with the debut of Apple Pay that has accompanied the launch of Apple’s latest iOS, and further competition from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Biometrics is playing an increasingly important role in this market. Apple has introduced its fingerprint biometric API to developers so that they can enhance transaction security on their apps; and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which recently debuted on the international market with its IPO, also employs fingerprint scanning on two kinds of smartphones with its Alipay subsidiary.

With its coming freedom from the eBay ecosystem, PayPal is hoping to be nimble enough to negotiate this market more effectively, and in so doing will very likely be developing some biometric security measures of its own.