Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PayPal Streamlines Online Checkout, Expands Mobile Payments

While PayPal announced Beacon last September to support hands-free mobile payments for in-store shoppers, it has also recently improved its legacy online business.

According to mCommerce Daily, "Now when people select the 'pay With PayPal' option at checkout from an online store, the entire process of logging in and entering billing or other information takes place on the retailer’s site, instead of having to first go to a PayPal page."

“In addition, merchants only need to do one integration to get the same seamless checkout experience on a computer, tablet, or smartphone,” according to Don Kingsborough, VP, retail services, PayPal, in a blog post announcing the upgrade and other developments. PayPal is testing the updated checkout system with selected partners and will make it generally available to large online merchants in the first half of 2014, then roll out to small and medium-sized businesses.

Later this year the company will also allow customers to log into a retail site with their PayPal ID to further speed up checkout.

“If you are logged in and check out, all of your shipping, preferences and payment information is automatically populated. All you need to do is click the checkout button and you're done,” stated Kingsborough. Notes mCommerce Daily, "That’s similar to the 'Login and Pay with Amazon' service ... introduced in October to let people make purchases on other sites using their Amazon credentials."

"PayPal also announced the expansion of Payment Code, a new capability it recently debuted that lets shoppers use a scannable QR code or four-digit short code to pay in-store via PayPal’s smartphone app. Already available at 1,500 locations in the U.K., the service will extend to many merchants using the MICROS and Discover point-of-sale (POS) systems starting in February."

Regarding Beacon, PayPal's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)-powered system for physical stores that lets PayPal app users automatically check in and pay at retail locations, Kingsborough said the company is testing Beacon at few merchant locations in the U.S. and Australia, with more soon joining the trial in the U.K., Canada, France and Germany, with integration into the PayPal app expected early this year.

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