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PayPal Brings One-Touch* Payments to the Web

Like Amazon 1-Click, but really two clicks.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Last year, PayPal made it easier for people to pay with PayPal on mobile apps. Now, the online payments giant will try to do the same thing for the Web.

Today, PayPal is introducing its One Touch payment product for mobile and desktop websites. The product prompts online shoppers to enter their PayPal usernames and passwords once on a computer or phone, and then buy stuff on sites that accept PayPal without re-entering any password, payment or shipping information. The product, PayPal believes, can help online merchants that accept PayPal increase sales, as PayPal says One Touch has done for app makers on mobile phones.

In some ways, the new product seems like an attempt to bring Amazon’s 1-Click payments to the rest of the Web. It also allows PayPal to beat Apple Pay in the transition from mobile apps to websites, which Apple hasn’t yet made. But while PayPal is calling the product One Touch, it actually requires two clicks to complete a purchase, depending on how you count it. Shoppers need to click once to choose PayPal as the payment option on a given website, and then click or touch again to confirm a shipping address and PayPal funding type.

Either way, PayPal believes its payment option is a big step up from the multi-step payment procedures still common on many websites today. One Touch also may attract more consumers than the app version, since people need to download the PayPal or PayPal-owned Venmo app to pay with One Touch in apps, but only need to have a PayPal account to use the payment type on websites.

Most merchants that accept PayPal won’t have to do anything to start offering the option, which will start popping up this week, said Bill Ready, PayPal’s merchant division head, in an interview. PayPal is rolling the option out to consumers little by little.

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