Ten years later, Paypal is already using personal URLs for money transfer

LID turned 10 years a little while ago. Back in the days, the revolutionary idea was:

  • everyone could have one (or several) user-specific URLs
  • they could print that URL on their business card
  • and all sorts of interesting services could be attached to that URL, such as:
    • single-sign-on into any website
    • standardized transfer of personal information (subject to user approval, of course)
    • secure messaging, as a better e-mail replacement, and
    • money transfer from person to person!

Fast-forward 10 years, and Paypal today announces “PayPal Launches PayPal.Me, A Simpler Way To Request Money Using Your Own Personalized URL”. (Techcrunch coverage).

Really.

The fun part is that some of us were pitching that very idea to Paypal 10 years ago. And they say the technology industry moves fast.

Now, Paypal: I hope you have defined and published your payment protocols somewhere, so I can build my own “bank” application and seamlessly interoperate with your’s, and we can actually exchange money with each other, even if we are not all Paypal users. Otherwise, all you have done is put “URL lipstick”  on your own database that keeps all the money and nothing interesting has happened.

Have you?