It seems like new payment processing technologies won’t stop popping up to help us to leave our wallets at home. From services like LevelUp, which uses a special scanner to input payment information from smartphones, to Square Wallet, a service from Square that uses your phone’s GPS data, your name and, well, your face to help you checkout without so much as taking your phone out of your pocket. The big boys too, are scrambling to get into modern payment technologies. Google Wallet, for example, allows you to pay at retailers by tapping your phone against an NFC-enabled payment pad. Despite these vast efforts, few companies have made a solution as painless to adopt as PayPal’s new payment code technology.
In an effort to bring its digital payments platform to the physical marketplace, PayPal announced today payment code, a new way to make purchases in retail stores. Using this new technology, you will soon be able to produce a QR code or a four-digit payment code from your mobile device that retailers can use to receive payment. This innovative approach from PayPal will enable retailers to enhance the paying experience in their stores without having to buy expensive new machines. Don Kingsborough, vice president of retail services at PayPal, wrote on the company blog:
Our approach isn’t to push technology for technology’s sake, but to truly make the paying experience better for consumers and to give merchants more opportunity to innovate without a costly investment. Payment code is easy to use and understand and utilizes a ubiquitous technology that merchants have and are familiar with.”
How Payment Code Works
When you’re ready to pay in a retail store, open the PayPal app and check in. Upon checking in, the app will prompt you with a QR code which the retailer can scan with its barcode or QR code scanner to authenticate your purchase. If the merchant doesn’t have a scanner, a four-digit short code will pop up on your device instead of a QR code, and you or the merchant can punch the code into the PIN pad at checkout. Then you can be on your way!
For those merchants that already host their own app, it is possible to integrate PayPal’s new payment technology. This way PayPal’s QR codes will appear directly within merchants’ apps.
The Benefits of Payment Code
Besides giving customers one, simple way to pay with any of their myriad funding sources while eliminating the need to carry a physical wallet, payment code will also allow customers to redeem any special offer, gift card, or rewards program offered by the merchant. With payment code, customers will no longer have to remember to carry special rewards cards or hand over membership numbers at the register.
Besides making payment easier for customers, payment code gives merchants access to new payment technology without them having to overhaul their existing payment systems. Since payment code utilizes the barcode scanners that are already in use at 40+ million payment terminals around the world, most merchants won’t need to fork over a dime to adopt this new technology.
PayPal is expected to roll out payment code globally in the first quarter of 2014.
Do you think you’ll use this new technology to pay at retailers in the future?
Piggy bank image via Tax Credits