PayPal looks to your wrist for the future of payments
PayPal has made massive strides in converting it’s business from being purely online and through eBay to becoming a near default for making purchases and sending payments through a mobile device. But, like any good company should be, PayPal isn’t happy. It wants a slice of the future, and it’s looking to smartwatches to stay relevant as time marches on.
Using the coffee shop on its corporate campus, PayPal has been testing out a brand new payment method that uses wearable devices in conjunction with its beacon technology.
“We began the pilot program earlier this year and it has been performing well since,” Kathy Chui, senior PR manager at PayPal told Mobile Commerce Daily.
Using BLE beacons, customers are detected when they enter the store – sending a push notification to a person’s wearable device. Then, using that device, the customer can buy a coffee or redeem an in-store offer that has been sent to them.
It’s not the most revolutionary method in the world, some companies have toyed with this idea for a while using smartphones as the medium of communication. But with wearable tech, it’s right on the wrist and requires no turning out of pockets to see what a store is trying to tell you.
When a customer is ready to pay and leave, PayPal’s Check-Out system comes into play – showing an image of the customer alongside their name on store’s POS system. No money is exchanged, instead the payment takes place on the smart device, with a user simply confirming the payment.
“Because the devices are issued by a non-carrier, there shouldn’t be the historical battles for access to a secure element,” said Drew Sievers, founding partner at fintech investor Operative Capital. “That should accelerate the usage and adoption since there are fewer intermediary hurdles to overcome when launching a product.”
It’ll be interesting to see how well wearable technology takes off as, with this method, PayPal may well have gotten themselves into a rather lucrative space.
Mind you, they seem to be generally open-minded these days.
[Image: Janitors - Flickr]