Money2020: PayPal Cracks QR Codes (Oct. 10, 2013)
PayPal added another key piece to its POS strategy this week with the introduction of Payment Code, a QR code-based approach enabling consumers to pay by scanning the PayPal mobile app at checkout. Consumers using the technology may open the PayPal app—or a specific merchant app—and check in via PayPal, Don Kingsborough, PayPal vice president of enterprise and retail solutions, told attendees this week at Money2020 in Las Vegas when unveiling the news. At merchant locations lacking a barcode scanner, consumers may enter a four-digit code PayPal sends to the mobile app. No changes are needed in merchants’ POS hardware or software, and Payment Code creates easy access to all customers’ funding sources and the ability to automatically redeem special offers and discounts, Kingsborough said. Payment Code will be available at most Discover Network merchants during the first quarter of 2014, according to PayPal.
Payment Code is the latest in a series of PayPal initiatives to enhance POS payments, following last month’s announcement of PayPal Beacon, which uses low-energy Bluetooth to create a Wi-Fi-based local network inside stores for hands-free payment. In pilot now, Beacon will roll out fully next year. PayPal also has a major POS integration program with NCR and in 2012 it announced a partnership to enable 7 million Discover Network merchants to accept PayPal payments through existing relationships with the card network.
PayPal is a significant force to be reckoned with, due to its success in e-commerce, but translating that success to the POS will be challenging, Ken Paterson, vice president of research operations and a director at Mercator Advisory Group, tells Paybefore. “PayPal is building a POS strategy but generating transaction volume through something other than [payment] cards could be hard,” he notes.