iTunes Music Store Takes PayPal -- Money is money, and PayPal is big money. So it's no wonder that Apple has finally partnered with PayPal to accept payments for the U.S. iTunes Music Store. As of 10-Dec-04, you can purchase music, audiobooks, and gift certificates using a PayPal account. Apple is also offering a sign-up incentive: the first 50,000 customers to open a new account using PayPal as the form of payment will receive five free songs (through 31-Mar-05).
PayPal started as a cash interchange: a way to avoid messing about with credit card transactions of sufficiently small amounts that the transactions weren't worth the accompanying processing fees associated (see "Worthy Web Sites: PayPal" in TidBITS-562). It quickly morphed into a tool for individuals and businesses to pay for transactions, mostly auctions, and is now an eBay-owned behemoth with bank-like services grafted on. Although it seems from my initial tests that the iTunes Music Store works only with PayPal accounts linked to a credit card (rather than funded from a bank account), it's possible that part of Apple's desire to work with PayPal is to experiment with reducing the transaction fees that can eat a significant chunk of a small credit card purchase. [GF]