I joined Christopher’s session about the PayPal API. He quickly stepped through his last year’s presentation about PayPal to explain to the audience what and who PayPal is.
PayPal offers different APIs, from normal HTTP POST requests with HTTP redirection to a modern SOAP API. Unfortunately, the SOAP API only provides 3 method calls, so only a small subset of all the PayPal functions. Hopefully they will add more functions to the SOAP service.
Christopher showed how to implement the API in your own shop and what the advantages and disadvantages of PayPal are. Especially if you’re selling immaterial goods or you have a low-payment business case (i.e. commercial content or stuff like that), PayPal might be the right choice. As PayPal was acquired by eBay, one of the largest e-commerce platforms in the world, it is likely that every eBay user also has a PayPal account which is very interesting for shop owners. PayPal users are identified by their e-mail address.
The last section of the talk was dedicated to a small Q&A session and after that, Christopher showed the audience a working version of the API on his laptop.