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PayPal goes after the high street

15 September 2011  |  13937 views  |  1 PayPal logo

PayPal is stepping up its bid to take on card companies Visa and MasterCard in the high street as the boundaries between online and offline merge.

The eBay unit, which built its business in the world of e-commerce, is seeking to extend its reach and connect Internet and 'real-world' commerce.

In a blog, president Scott Thompson says: "There's a "new normal" in retail. Shopping is 24×7 and it happens everywhere - not just in a store or website. The intersection of smartphones, social media, online and offline shopping has put the consumer squarely in control."

The company plans to roll out a "one-stop shop" for merchants, covering the whole shopping lifecycle - 'acquisition', 'conversation' and 'retention'.

This will see geo-targeted advertising through mobile phones to help merchants entice people to their shops. Once customers are in-store they will be able to scan barcodes and carry out real-time inventories to find products before paying with their handset or entering their phone numbers and a PIN. For retention, loyalty rewards and 'payment flexibility' will come through the customer's mobile wallet.

The firm revealed earlier this year that it has lined up trials of its point-of-sale system with a major US retailer, and plans to have up to 20 outfits operating the service during 2012.

Thomsons insists that "we're not just shoving a credit card on a phone", arguing that "you've got to have more than just a shiny new technology to really change the way people shop and pay" and that PayPal wants to "free you from the cash register".

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 15 September, 2011, 15:00 Dear Sirs, Customers paying at merchant POS by keying in their phone number + pincode on merchant payment device? Is this an attempt to create the most user unfriendly and and merchant time consuming unsecure payment application? Why did not payment card companies think of this - use only card number + pin at POS instead of physical card? Two reasons on top of my mind: customer convenience and quality/error free processing in addition to the security risk it poises since the phone no is a public token usable by anyone that manage to shoulder surf on pin? Paypal must be joking!
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