PayPal's streamlined 'smart buttons' open up to more brands

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PayPal has many brands with which it wants to permeate online commerce, but it doesn't need a separate button for each one.

In launching "PayPal Checkout with Smart Buttons" on Thursday, PayPal is unifying PayPal One Touch, Pay with Venmo and PayPal Credit buttons to reduce potential confusion among the customers of its multiple products. In the near future, Smart Buttons will also integrate local alternative payment methods.

"For businesses, we’re democratizing access to powerful digital commerce tools that had previously been available to only the very largest e-commerce players," Bill Ready, PayPal's chief communications officer and executive vice president, said in a blog post announcing the Smart Buttons concept.

pSmart Buttons displays only the buttons that are relevant for each customer geographically, while also charting customer behaviors that are tied into which payment buttons would be displayed. More than 96 million consumers have opted into using One Touch and more than 9 million businesses have enabled it on their checkout pages, Ready said.

Over the next few weeks, PayPal plans to enable iDEAL payments for customers in the Netherlands, Bancontact for customers in Belgium, MyBank for customers in Italy, Giropay for customers in Germany, and EPS for customers in Austria through the Smart Buttons.

"We expect to roll out many more local payment methods this year as we work toward enabling more choice for consumers and growth for businesses," Ready said.

The company obtained One Touch through its 2013 acquisition of Braintree. Since then, most other major payments providers have established payment buttons. And most are recognizing that checkout pages are becoming increasingly cluttered with payment options.

To resolve that potential, Visa and Mastercard went as far as recently revealing they were considering operating through a combined pay button that would accept payments for either card brand.

PayPal's program will also include Shopper Insights for businesses to obtain information about PayPal shoppers visiting their sites, including how many convert to buyers and what types of devices they use to shop.

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