Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PayPal Version 2.0.31 Comes to the iPhone with an Added Bump

Today, an updated version of the online payment giant PayPal’s Apple iPhone app was released. Version 2.0.31 maintains the original features of the nearly 5-star rated iTunes App Store product but adds an innovative, if not slightly odd, feature. Known as “Bump,” the feature takes a cue from the Bump App for iPhone, which allows two iPhone users to easily trade photos and contacts, as well as compare and become Facebook friends. So what use did PayPal find for this technology? Now, two iPhone users can bump to send and receive PayPal payments, via the iPhone. Though it is definitely an interesting feature, is it enough to make iPhone users want to download and use it?

How does the Bump feature work?

The screenshot is pretty self-explanatory. You meet up with someone to whom you want to send money, or vice versa. You open up the app, configure the amount, and bump. That’s all there is to it. The transaction will go through, just like a normal PayPal one would, if it were done via the website.

Is the Bump feature really useful?

The question one might ask is whether this is really of use to anyone. Looking at it from this standpoint, the average joe will probably not get a lot out of this feature. It may come in handy occasionally, but, beyond that, it is pretty much a novelty. There is the possibility that self-employed people, salesman, or other mobile business people could use it to receive payments from customers, but this is dependent upon the customer having an iPhone, a PayPal account, and the PayPal app installed. In most situations, this would not be the case. Either way, it is a neat feature that takes advantage of the Bump technology.

Are there any other reasons to have the PayPal app for iPhone?

While the Bump feature may not be the most useful thing in the world, PayPal account holders will definitely find the app useful. If you’re like me, when you make an online transaction, it’s usually easier and more secure to use your PayPal account, instead of entering your credit card information. For many, not having to pull out the wallet is a very good thing.

Key Features of PayPal Version 2.0.31

Regular eBay buyers and sellers will also find the PayPal app useful, since they can conveniently check their account balances, send money, withdraw money, etc. To this end, the PayPal app has a few very useful features that we’ve already mentioned, as well as a few others, to include:

  • Well-designed and navigable interface
  • The ability to request contributions from other PayPal users for group gifts or fundraisers
  • Request money owed to you by other PayPal users
  • Verify account balances
  • Withdraw funds from PayPal
  • Set reminders for upcoming payments you may need to make
  • Calculate tips for single and group checks
  • Calculate individual totals, from split checks when dining out
  • Recommend the PayPal app to a fellow iPhone users
  • And, of course, the Bump feature to send and receive payments instantly

PayPal for iPhone Version 2.031 also claims to fix some minor bugs from the previous version. Based on the ratings and number of downloads, it doesn’t seem like the bugs were significant enough to really worry about.

Updates and Security Considerations

If you’re an existing PayPal for iPhone app user, you’ll certainly want to download the update, since that is what responsible computing device users do. For PayPal users who may not have it installed on their iPhones, it is a free download. Whether you are an existing user or a new one, it is very advisable to ensure your iPhone is configured with a PIN and to erase after 10 incorrect attempts. This is because the PayPal app or any other app that saves your account information could potentially be used to try and steal your money, your private data, or whatever other electronic data of value you may have saved in your iPhone.

Where Can I get it?

You can download the app via the PayPal app page on the iTunes Store. Of course, you will need a PayPal account to use, so you’ll want to visit the secure PayPal site to take care of that first.

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