PayPal, not being the type to rest on its laurels after a hard days work of being one of the most popular online payment processors in the world, or branching out into mPOS systems across the globe, has announced a curious USB Bluetooth device for payments.
Dubbed the PayPal Beacon, this USB device that resembles a flash drive allows for merchants to accept payments from customers who have the PayPal app on their smartphones.
By plugging it into a computer, the Beacon enables seamless customer payments at businesses in a secure and hands-free manner.
It also works with a variety of existing PoS systems to make it effortless to install.
Any customer that comes in and has the PayPal app installed onto their smartphone will be automatically identified when in range of PayPal Beacon and will receive a notification to let them know that they've been checked in at the store. This means that to pay, all they have to do is authorise their phones at the store and charge their PayPal account for all the goods purchased upon transaction completion.
This is also great for consumers as it means they can pick and choose over which stores they use PayPal Beacon for, and they can favourite others so they always automatically â€˜check in' at favoured locations.
The tech is set to arrive early next year as PayPal is currently in talks with several merchants. But, upon arrival, it'll be compatible with PayPal Here and PayPal's consumer app.
The biggest gamble for the company comes from them opening up their mobile payments API for the first time so that the developer community can build bespoke apps around it as its launch draws ever closer.
It's certainly a nice piece of kit to have at any local store you may visit. But it'd also be quite nice if consumers could somehow make use of it at home for paying seamlessly for goods online – without the need to log in to payment providers or enter card details.
Maybe that'll come soon enough.