The online payments company Xoom Corp. is using Skype's online messaging service to attract new customers.
It's a revival of an old idea: When eBay owned Skype, it saw potential in encouraging people to send PayPal payments to relatives overseas during Skype chats. EBay linked the two services in March of 2007. At the time, PayPal was headed by Rajiv Dutta, who was previously in charge of Skype.
Other payment and messaging companies have tried their own pairings. AOL, for example, worked with Obopay to allow users of AOL's popular Instant Messenger to send payments to other chat users (see story). The integration was somewhat clunky: users had to first download a module from Obopay's website.
Xoom isn't integrating with Skype. It's simply offering a $50 Skype credit to new Xoom users. But the philosophy driving the Xoom deal is the same as the one behind the earlier partnerships between chat providers and payment companies.
"Our partnership with Xoom will deliver a very compelling solution to our U.S. users with connections in other countries," said Alejandro Arnaiz, senior manager of market development for Skype, in a press release June 4. "They will now be able to send money online from any computer or their mobile phone with Xoom and be in touch with their family and friends abroad over Skype, whether via audio, video or chat, at home or on their smartphones."
EBay spun off Skype in 2009. Microsoft bought Skype last year from an investment group led by Silver Lake.
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