FourthWall Media Buddies Up With PayPal For 'T-Commerce'

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Interactive TV developer FourthWall Media struck an agreement with eBay's PayPal online payments subsidiary, a deal that promises to let cable operators add the popular electronic payment service to their EBIF applications to sell products or services.

FourthWall's TV Buy Button service will provide developers access to the PayPal Internet payments service to let users log into their digital wallets from the TV.

The companies said TV Buy Button will go live later this year, and that future versions of the service will support cable bill payment and other transaction types within FourthWall's TV Widgets and Ad Widgets products.

"PayPal is one of the world's favorite forms of payment online and we have partnered with them to connect TV viewers with advertisers through this most popular digital payment method," FourthWall CEO Tim Peters said in a statement.

PayPal has more than 81 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world.

FourthWall (formerly known as BIAP) has developed several applications that could extend into T-commerce -- including eBay on TV, Yellow Pages on TV and Ad Widgets -- which run on CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) platform. According to FourthWall, operators, programmers and advertisers will now be able to extend their ITV apps to offer a PayPal payment option.

Separately, Canoe Ventures, the joint venture of the six biggest U.S. operators, is developing T-commerce capabilities with trials expected in 2011.  In addition, HSN has launched its "Shop by Remote" service to more than 30 million households and QVC also has a project underway to let viewers make purchases on their TVs.

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