PayPal eyes opportunities in outer space

The payments processor is looking at opportunities in an age of space tourism

PayPal, which claims more than 128 million active accounts in 193 markets and 25 currencies around the globe, is now looking at outer space.

As space tourism is expected to take off, PayPal is exploring what payment systems will be like in outer space.

The payments processor is launching Thursday with the SETI Institute and others an initiative called PayPal Galactic, which will bring together leaders in the space industry to discuss the issues surrounding the commercialization of space.

The need for a payment system beyond earth already exists, the payments processor said in a blog post on Wednesday. Astronauts on space stations need, for example, to pay for bills back on earth and for entertainment, like music and e-books, while in space, it added.

"Creating a secure and functional commerce system that can operate in space at scale will not be easy, but with the support of the scientific community, other technology companies and the public at large, we hope to find the solutions to address these challenges," PayPal wrote in the blog post.

The eBay unit admits that it is just at the beginning.

Some of the issues to be addressed by PayPal Galactic in tandem with scientists and researchers are how will standard currency look like in a "truly cash-free interplanetary society," how will banking systems have to adapt, how customer support needs to develop, regulations in the new environment, and developing risk and fraud management systems.

The initiative brings together scientists and space industry leaders from SETI in Mountain View, California and Space Tourism Society in Los Angeles, and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

A number of companies have been set up to offer space tourism. Virgin Galactic, for example, said in May that it is on track to be the world's first "commercial spaceline." Some companies plan to set up space hotels, according to reports.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Behaviour change, by design

​We’re living in an age of unprecedented change. We experience with Oculus Rift, invest with Acorns, consume video through Hyper, tune into Pandora and navigate with Waze.

Glen Jeffreys

Head of UX, Deepend Group

Chat bots: How to use them commercially right now

I’m sure that many of you out there have heard a lot about chat bots (aka messaging bots) recently, and the fact that they are here to stay is pretty evident by now.

Deniz Nalbantoglu

Managing director, Webling-Interactive

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

An in-depth understanding of consumers sits at the heart of what we all need to do, but we know it’s not always easy to uncover insights that will unlock a true innovation opportunity.

Matt Whale

Managing director, How To Impact

Thanks, Nadia. It was so interesting blog for me because it helps me able to understand well on the basics of business and marketing conc...

MichaelBGreen

3 ways marketers can raise their executive influence

Read more

Having been to the AO on Wednesday for the first time in a number of years I was very impressed with the new branding. The event has evol...

Naomi

Tennis Australia unwraps new brand identity for Australian Open

Read more

This was amazing and so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Vijay Kumar

Design thinking: Leading with experience

Read more

Great read, thanks for posting. MR should be seen as the holy grail for marketers and brands, as it offers an unprecedented capability to...

Barney

Interview: The business case for mixed reality in marketing

Read more

what a load of shit, and what a major stuff up... the new brand device is sterile, boring and just plain bad. Would be better suited to a...

James Yoi

Tennis Australia unwraps new brand identity for Australian Open

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in