PayPal. When you read that, you probably think of eBay, right? That kind of auto-association’s bad for business, you know. The banks and networks are firing out a slew of mobile payment apps designed to help you send money about, but that service has been available for years – it’s just, well… How many of your friends use Paypal outside of the online jumble sale?
But that could be about to change, thanks to PayPal’s new inStore app. Is the oldest player in the game about to show that NFC’s a waste of time?
“Research we carried out last year amongst major retailers suggested that 2016 will be the year you won’t need a wallet to shop on the British high street. A phone will be enough,” says PayPal’s UK MD Cameron McLean. But that phone won’t necessarily need to be stuffed with Near Field Communications tech to let you buy your shiny things.
Launching with UK brands such as Oasis and Warehouse, PayPal’s inStore app for iOS and Android needs nothing but an inked deal between it and the store in question. Install the PayPal inStore app, which is secured by a pin of your choosing, and it’ll spit out a barcode. Hand that to the assistant and they’ll subtract the right amount from your account just by scanning it with the store’s normal equipment.
Sounds odd, but it does mean you’ll be able to pay for things in store without your wallet. The best bit? “It even works when there is no mobile or Wi-Fi signal.” McLean suggests that the inStore app underlines PayPal’s view “that mobile payments don’t need near field communication (NFC) technology to succeed. PayPal’s ‘pay by mobile’ service works with the phones most of our customers already own.”
Now, this is definitely a novel approach, but to our mind this whole mobile phone payments thing is only going to take off if there’s one, standardised way of doing things – rather than a million banks and companies each proffering their own, different solutions.
Link: PayPal inStore app