For any software center or app marketplace, integrating a payment mechanism involves managing fraud recognition and geographical tax constrains. Once these hurdles are crossed, it is merely a matter of technical integration. Ubuntu Software Center showcases some non-free games like Braid, that are extremely popular on other platforms. However, payment for purchase of paid games and apps has been a long-standing issue, for Ubuntu, because it supported only credit cards.
Following a discussion on AskUbuntu, I arrived at a page on Ubuntu Brainstorm a few months ago. It was a discussion on possible payment methods for Ubuntu Software Center with an ongoing voting. After almost six months, during which a tough battle ensued, support for PayPal payments beat third-party payment solutions by a small margin. PayPal support grabbed 127 votes, with bank plugins lagging behind at 120 votes. The idea has finally been implemented, and this brings in support for PayPal Payments in the Ubuntu Software Center, beside the regular Credit Card payment method.
All payments for app purchase are directed through “Ubuntu Pay”, a feature in the Ubuntu Software Center. After Ubuntu integrates PayPal into the Software Center fully, users will be allowed to choose between Credit Card and PayPal payments before they proceed with the actual payment.
Canonical announced the integration saying,
It’s been a long time in development, but we’re finally drawing close to releasing Paypal support in Ubuntu Pay, the payment service behind Ubuntu Software Centre. We’re aiming to launch this new feature before Christmas.
Not everyone might welcome this move, give the fact that it brings Ubuntu closer to closed-source and proprietary software. Moreover, PayPal’s shady business practices and steep exchange rates are not appreciable either. However, this PayPal integration will let Ubuntu application developers earn from worldwide app-sales in a hassle free way, and will attract new talents and developers to the Ubuntu app ecosystem.