Is PayPal the future of retail?

In Technology by laural Total Payments Canada gathers Canadian payments experts to network, learn from each other, and discuss the latest payments industry developments

Who’s looking to take on a more active role in the physical retail world? PayPal, it seems.

The company has already established “Here”, its operations geared towards operating with small businesses. Here reaches out to niche businesses by making PayPal usable through small readers attached to the smartphones of operators.

A newer endeavor, however, is PayPal’s “Payment Code” business, which aims at larger retailers. Payment Code is new technology that will work with the already-established systems of large stores, as they tend to be slow to adopt new technology and are often already committed to their purchased equipment.

Payment Code will work through a mobile app to help customers pay for goods. It can be be used through PayPal’s own app or be incorporated into the already-existing app of a retailer. Either way, it generates QR codes that can be read by scanning devices at the check-out counter, as well as  a four-digit code that can be used at card-reading terminals. Transactions using the system would ultimately be processed by PayPal.

One of the app features is that it will send notifications to users when offers are available at participating retailers that are in the area. Beacon Bluetooth LD-enabled hardware has the potential to work with the app and send users more personalized recommendations once users are actually inside the store, based on their shopping behavior and history.

PayPal will be rolling out the new services at the end of 2013. At this time, the company is  not saying who the early retail partners of Payment Code will be, but it is likely they will include companies who have already been using other PayPal services.

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