PayPal and Braintree are expanding their start-up programme to London to get some of the UK’s fastest growing companies on board as customers.

The programme - known as Start Tank and already up and running in Boston, US, and Chennai, India - has been launched today after payment platform Braintree, acquired by PayPal earlier this year for $800 million, realised it had some spare space in its new Central London office.

The space will be used to house start-ups that have products of interest to PayPal or Braintree in areas such as commerce and payments.

John Lunn, PayPal's senior director of developer and start-up relations, told Techworld today that the payments giant wants to enroll five start-ups into the six month programme.

In addition to desk space in the recently opened Braintree office on Tottenham Court Road, start-ups will be given access to a number of executives at PayPal. They will also be selected to be a part of the PayPal/Braintree blueprint programme, allowing them to process up to $1.5 million for free through PayPal and $100,000 for free through Braintree.

While neither Paypal nor Braintree are looking to invest in the start-ups, the pair are hopeful that the fast-growing companies they choose will become loyal customers.

“Hopefully they’ll be using PayPal products and when they get to that 100 million company we’ll be powering their payments,” said Lunn. “For us that is the benefit we’re looking for here.”

He added: “We buy lots of companies and we take some equity in certain companies but we’re not actively looking for an investment here.”

The application process opens today and closes on 18 August.