Global payment platform provider PayPal Inc. disclosed that it will require iOS and Android users who employ its mobile app to upgrade to version 6.0 between June 3 and June 30, 2016; in addition, the PayPal app will no longer be supported on Amazon Fire, Blackberry and Windows platforms. Customers using these devices can access PayPal through their smartphone browsers, and Blackberry users can continue to use the BBM app to send peer-to-peer payments via PayPal, the company stated.
“It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms, but we believe it’s the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers,” stated Joanna Lambert, Vice President, Global Consumer Product & Engineering at PayPal.
The upgraded PayPal app will be available at the Apple App Store, Google Play and the customer portal on m.paypal.com, Lambert said. The app is supported on the following Android and iOS devices:
–Android devices with OS 4.03 or higher –Apple PC devices running iOS 8.1 or higher, iPhone 4S or greater, iPad2 or greater and iPod Touch fifth generation or greater.
Release of the mobile app’s new version coincides with PayPal’s “New Money” global marketing campaign devised to emphasize the company’s frictionless, simplified payments to end users worldwide.
“The announcement isn’t surprising as Android and iOS have been the dominant mobile platforms in recent years and are expected to maintain their dominance,” said Derek Webster, founder and Chief Executive Officer of New York-based CardFlight Inc., a mobile payment provider. Citing comScore research, he added that “as of December 2015, over 96 percent of smartphones in the United States were running one of those two platforms, with all other platforms having less than 4 percent market share, combined.”
Webster went on to say that mobile POS solutions must work well across many types of devices to accommodate diversified smartphone and tablet populations already in use in the merchant community. “Developing and maintaining broad support in this ‘bring your own device’ environment takes a lot of work, so I’m not surprised that PayPal is focusing efforts on iOS and Android,” he said. “The ongoing maintenance cost of supporting other platforms is significant.”
Webster noted that in May 2016, CardFlight customers installed the company’s SwipeSimple app on 1,017 distinct Android device models. “We invest a lot of engineering effort to support such a wide range of devices,” he said.
A study conducted by comScore in the first quarter of 2016 that measured both device and operating system platforms across the United States found that 198.9 million people in the United States owned smartphones. The Reston, Va.-based cross-platform measurement company ranked Apple as the top smartphone device with 43.9 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers. Samsung ranked second with 28.4 percent market share, followed by LG with 9.7 percent, Motorola with 4.8 percent and HTC with 3 percent.
Android ranked as the top smartphone platform in February with 52.7 percent market share, followed by Apple with 43.9 percent (up 0.8 percentage points from November 2015), Microsoft with 2.5 percent and BlackBerry with 0.8 percent.
PayPal’s new app version will be available in 145 markets. Following are several enhanced, simplified features:
“We believe the key is offering you choice, flexibility, convenience and security,” the PayPal website stated. The company expects to add more in-store features in the near future.