It's great to be in New York for NRF 2014, this year's edition of the National Retail Federation's annual event commonly referred to as the Big Show, and with good reason. The overwhelming scale of this yearly gathering of the retail industry makes it an occasion that can't be missed if you care about the fast-changing world of shopping and selling.
Last year's Big Show marked a pivotal moment for PayPal as we showcased our move into the offline world with the announcement that consumers could pay for their purchases with PayPal at 18,000 merchant locations across the United States. We've enjoyed an incredibly busy and successful year since then. During 2013, thanks to our collaboration with Discover and merchant acquiring partners, and through our direct relationships with U.S. retailers, 1.9 million merchant locations in the U.S. have now committed to accept PayPal payments. We also launched our new PayPal app, announced PayPal Beacon and payment code, acquired Braintree, and much more.
Every one of these steps was designed to serve a much larger purpose. Our goal is to deliver shopping experiences that are more convenient, more personal, and more fun for consumers, and more profitable for merchants by making it easier to shop and pay from anywhere and at any time - in-store during regular shopping hours, or on a mobile device, tablet, or PC from your office, your bed, while you're riding the bus, or any place else you can imagine.
Seamless Online Checkout
This year, we'll accelerate the pace of innovation as we continue to lead the push to transform the shopping experience by delivering greater value to merchants and their customers. At NRF 2014 we're showcasing advances that are already making the future of retail today's reality for many retailers, starting with a completely redesigned online checkout experience for large merchants. Now, when customers pay with PayPal online, the entire checkout experience can happen entirely within the merchant website, in a process that takes just a few seconds and requires fewer steps than before. In addition, merchants only need to do one integration to get the same seamless checkout experience on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
We're currently piloting this new checkout experience with a few partners and we'll make it more generally available to large merchants during the first half of this year. Of course we plan to roll it out to small and medium sized merchants very soon as well.
Later this year, merchants will be able to do one integration to get Log In with PayPal functionality as part of the new online checkout experience, enabling consumers to log into a merchant's website with PayPal instead of creating another username and password. Merchants get to know their customers better and consumers get a much easier checkout experience when shopping on a merchant's site. If you are logged in and check out, all of your shipping, preferences and payment information is automatically populated. All you need to do is click the checkout button and you're done.
Mobile Commerce Comes to the Store with Payment Code and Beacon
We're also focused on delivering innovative ways for merchants to take full advantage of the power of mobile devices within their food service and retail locations. One example is the recent announcement of payment code, a technology that enables consumers to use a QR code or four-digit short code to pay in-store using a smartphone.
At NRF 2014, we're also announcing that we've been working closely with MICROS and Discover to make payment code available to their merchants. Starting in February, many MICROS and Discover merchants will be able to upgrade software in existing terminals, via a small integration, to accept payments from customers who want to pay with PayPal using their smartphones, either by scanning a QR code or entering a four-digit short code into a PIN pad.
I am pleased to share that payment code is already available at more than 1,500 locations in the UK. Additionally, it is available as a payment method across hundreds of taxis in Canberra, Australia, with the goal to rollout to thousands more by mid 2014.
I'm also thrilled to share a quick update on PayPal Beacon, which has been one of the industry's hottest topics since we announced it in September. Right now, we're testing it at a few merchant locations in the U.S. and Australia, and soon we'll start testing with additional merchants in the U.K., Canada, France, and Germany.
We're hard at work integrating Beacon into the PayPal app, and we expect to complete that work early in 2014, at which point we will be excited to begin making this next-generation shopping experience available to consumers. So, if you want to be among the first merchants to offer the kind of hands-free, highly personal experience that only Beacon can provide - or to help us test Beacon - please visit www.paypal.com/beacon to learn more.