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Will PayPal work with Apple Pay? eBay CEO is receptive

"We want PayPal to be a presence however consumers want to pay," eBay CEO John Donahoe says.

PayPal may play nice with Apple Pay after all.

John Donahoe, the CEO of PayPal parent eBay, said on an investor conference call on Tuesday that he wants PayPal "to be a presence however consumers want to pay," suggesting a willingness to work with Apple's upcoming mobile-payments feature.

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With Apple Pay, iOS users can carry out purchases using the new iPhone and TouchID. Apple

"The future of payments is one where people have multiple ways to pay," he said. "We want PayPal to be present in each of those environments."

Donahoe was on a call to discuss eBay's plans to split PayPal into a separate business in the second half of 2015, allowing the online auction house and mobile payments businesses to focus on different priorities. The move, which has been pushed by activist investor Carl Icahn, is seen making the two businesses more nimble and able to react to the changing dynamics of their respective areas.

One rapidly changing area is payments, where PayPal faces a potential competitor in Apple Pay. While PayPal has been slowly pushing its presence in mobile payments, Apple could come in and shake up the category with Apple Pay, which turns the iPhone into a mobile wallet capable of paying at the cash register. Apple has the customer base and the reputation to get people on to mobile payments quickly, something PayPal -- and a handful of other large companies -- have struggled to do.

Apple Pay is expected to go into service in October.

PayPal appeared to take a shot at Apple earlier this month when it posted a full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle touting the safety and security of PayPal, claiming "We the people want our money safer than our selfies," a not-so-veiled shot at Apple and the recent iCloud hack that allowed explicit celebrity photos to leak on to the Internet.

An Apple spokeswoman wasn't immediately available to comment.

While Donahoe expressed a willingness to work with others, he never mentioned Apple Pay by name in his response, despite two questions that specifically referred to Apple's payment service. Donahoe, however, may not have the last say on PayPal and Apple Pay. When PayPal splits next year, Dan Schulman, who is joining PayPal from American Express, will take over as CEO.