Payments in the Final Frontier

July 1, 2013

After pioneering alternative online payments 15 years ago, PayPal has its sights set on another frontier. Last week, the company announced its PayPal Galactic initiative, which will begin exploring the commercialization of space.

“What we once deemed to be science fiction has become a reality. Space travel is opening up for ‘the rest of us’ thanks to Virgin Galactic, Space X and a host of other space-tourism programs including the Space Hotel that hopes to be in orbit by 2016,” said PayPal President David Marcus. “The enabling infrastructure pieces are starting to come together, and as we start planning to inhabit other planets, the practical realities of life still need to be addressed.”

Through the initiative, PayPal and representatives of the space tourism industry will begin to work out some of the questions surrounding paying for things in space including how being off planet affects things like currency, regulation, risk management and banking systems.

“Creating a secure and functional commerce system that can operate in space at scale will not be easy,” Marcus said, “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.”