PayPal is upping their position in mobile payments with the introduction of a product sure to grab any merchant’s attention. It aims to engage consumers throughout all steps of the shopping process.
Although NFC technology has yet to become the mainstream payment method, it very much exists and has somewhat influenced PayPal’s product. As the video below shows, the PayPal vision is to merge the decision to buy a product with the checkout counter.
President Scott Thompson explained in his blog that the payment technologies are an attempt to gracefully add the card to the phone. It somewhat preempts contactless NFC payments, starting with the popular technique of baiting customers by pushing local deals onto the phone based on the mobile user’s geolocation.
Keeping the technology simple
PayPal didn’t do anything extraordinary this time nor did they utilize fancy new chips only available on specific phones. The point of the campaign is to keep customers in the store by changing the entire payment experience.
If you’ve been to an Apple store recently you’ll probably understand why this is so simple.
First, of course, as you walk past a store a coupon will be thrown straight into your PayPal account should you accept the deal. Then you can actually purchase the item straight from your phone by scanning the barcode with your camera and tapping “Pay” in the app.
No Apple store guy necessary.
But PayPal isn’t just trying to put coupons on your phone and get you to skip the line, their vision is bigger than that.
Improving transparency for customers
They have also added the ability for merchants to become more transparent with their customers. That means if you find a jacket you like but it’s in the wrong size or color, you can scan the barcode and find a nearby location carrying the right fit. Then you can head over there or even purchase it on your phone and have it shipped.
Lastly, they have included some payment methods in the app already being utilized by Popmoney and similar services that only need your phone number and a PIN to make a payment. At the register, you can access your PayPal with just that and pay for the product.
The way PayPal is presenting their new campaign is that it grabs consumers’ attention, from start to finish. You will receive deals, find the right item for the right price, and pay for it all with one app in your phone. This is a solid attempt by the company to move payments away from Visa and Mastercard to get themselves more involved.