The new smartphone app from PayPal will allow shoppers in Britain to pay for goods on the high street using the same electronic wallet that they use to pay for items online. The firm is claiming that their technology will do away with the need for those Near Field Communication chips which are being built into the latest generation smartphones. The app is called inStore and is the latest salvo aimed at making smartphones the easiest way to pay.
It is effectively pitching firms such as Google and PayPal against firms offering financial services, as well as both mobile manufacturers and operators. The PayPal app, which is available for both the iPhone and Android handsets, allows users to pay for goods using their PayPal account in the 230 stores that are owned by the Aurora Fashions group. These include Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen and Warehouse.
When a shopper goes to the checkout to make their purchase, they simply open the inStore app by entering a PIN number. This then generates a barcode for the shop assistant to scan, thus allowing the store to withdraw the correct amount from the customer’s PayPal account.
Cameron McLean is the managing director of PayPal UK, and he says that soon the lines between the high street and the online world will disappear altogether, and that research the company carried out last year among major British retailers strongly suggests that the year 2016 will bring about the time when you no longer need to have a purse or a wallet to go shopping on the high streets of the UK and will only need your phone.
Unlike the many previous attempts to effectively make smartphones into electronic wallets, the PayPal app doesn’t rely on NFC. Credit card firms, Google and mobile operators, which rumour says includes Apple, are all behind the wave and pay technology, and it is being built into such new devices as the Samsung Galaxy SIII and works similarly to the Oyster Card system in London.