PayPal points to global reach
Don Kingsborough, vice president of retail and prepaid products at PayPal, had a clear message for Money2020 in Las Vegas yesterday: “The future is actually now.”
Playing off a presentation earlier in the week by Mike Abbott, chief executive of rival Isis, Kingsborough echoed many of Abbott’s points on how a new payment method works in the real world – how do you get consumers to adopt it, how do you design it so retailers can use it, and how do you create this in a way that consumers area already familiar with?
But unlike Isis, currently being piloted in Utah and Austin, PayPal is live across the US and around the world, Kingsborough said, which gives it a significant lead, he added.
“Dozens of players have made announcements and they focus on two cities or only restaurants and they think that is what is going to change consumer behaviour … you have to be wherever the consumer already loves to shop, and the technology has to work – these are the table stakes for success – you have to be where the consumers already love to shop. Period,” said Kingsborough.
PayPal has already made agreements with 150 large merchants in the US who account for almost half of its $3.3 trillion in annual sales.
‘You have to be everywhere consumers shop. We don’t need new infrastructure, we need to make the infrastructure smarter and fatter,” said Kingsborough.
Last week PayPal announced PayPal Beacon, a small USB device tool that sits in a store and monitors mobile phone data to see when a shopper, if they have opted into sharing information, enters the store.
“This is the critical interface that allows consumers to do the things that they want, they love, and either saves them time or money,” Kingsborough said.The PayPal Payment Code gives consumers an end-to-end shopping experience that offers purchase, simply and easily and safely. It works much like a bar code app at Starbucks,” he added.
“The subtlety is the beauty of this: Unlike most new products, most people already know how to use this – it is something they can easily adopt. Consumers say ‘that’s what I do at Starbucks, or to check in at the airport’. We are taking the same experience and making it available to retailers around the world.”
“This will forever change the way consumers shop,” he added. The recently announced partnership with Discover allows PayPal the connectivity to the seven million account holders and over 20 million locations they are connected to around the world.