The recent PayPal’s integration with bitcoin was one of the main news this week, with media actively covering the announcement.
There is now a high competition between web and mobile payments companies. For instance, Apple, one of the market leaders, has just introduced its Apple Pay service.
Members of the bitcoin community have been actively discussing whether bitcoin could help PayPal to keep its dominant position on the market.
In an interview to Coindesk, Scott Ellison, PayPal senior director of corporate strategy, told the company is not hurrying to wholly embrace digital currency.
According to Ellison, PayPal will play the role of the observer while working with bitcoin processors. “[We’re looking] to gain insight into the types of consumers using bitcoin and will work with businesses to understand what types of content they are selling more of,” he said.
The firm will monitor the customer behavior on its PayPal Payments Hub, the system that enables its users to incorporate various payment options, including credit cards and bitcoin. The platform users will be able to realize bitcoin and altcoin processing services offered by Coinbase, BitPay and GoCoin.
Ellison noted that there is usually not high user activity when the new product appears on the market. The same situation is with new payment processing services.
Ellison also told CoinDesk: “Smaller, digital purchases are what consumers might like to try with this new payment method just as they did with then-new mobile operator billing for digital goods like games and ringtones on mobile devices.”
He also considers digital currency could help the company to raise sales and cut costs. Besides, he added that PayPal has been working on bitcoin integration into its PayPal Payments Hub during four months.
Although such firms as Overstock realized bitcoin processing services within one week, Ellison noted a longer period was necessary for this type of procedure. “This is a typical, normal integration timeframe, as we had to ensure we had customer service and partner support ready,” he said.
Still, Ellison added that PayPal expressed interest in virtual currency since 2012, given bitcoin potential to minimize friction and costs in the payments sector for consumers.
PayPal’s move complies with its policies of embracing innovations, while ensuring the services are safe and reliable. Ellison said: “We’re proceeding gradually, supporting bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop.”
PayPal hopes to inform more people about the new service through the media and other channels.