PayPal Cashing In On Mobile Commerce with Express Checkout

PayPal (s ebay) today launched Mobile Express Checkout, a mobile extension of the company’s Express Checkout that offers online retailers a streamlined payment process. Early adopters of the new service include Nike and, with a wider variety of retailers to follow, the company says. With the new service, vendors can offer a seamless checkout experience when customers shop on an iPhone (s aapl) or Android (s goog) device, which will help continue to drive the growing mobile payment business — a market expected to top $633 billion by 2014.

With the new offering, PayPal is clearly going after a piece of that growing payment pie, and the company wisely expects that shopping on the go isn’t a passing fad. PayPal need only look at its own data to justify this assumption: mobile PayPal transactions have increased to $141 million in 2009 from $25 million the prior year. In a blog post today, Bill Zielke, senior director for PayPal’s merchant services team, says the company expects to see $500 million in mobile transactions this year. Zielke’s projection may sound high on the surface, but I wouldn’t be surprised if PayPal blows past that half-a-billion dollar mark in mobile transactions this year, especially if it can quickly get retailers on board.

It shouldn’t be too difficult for PayPal to attract big brands to the new service: retailers know that consumers are doing more on the go every day — every hit, link or mention of a e-tailer’s site is a potential sales opportunity. And every one of those opportunities can quickly be lost with a complicated or frustrating mobile payment process. By streamlining that process and customizing it for the small screen — popular ones no less, with iPhone and Android support — combined with a recognized brand in commerce, PayPal’s Mobile Express Checkout could eliminate the “Costanza Wallet.”

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