PayPal has now revealed yet another new product aimed at making retail store payments easier for both consumers and merchants. This one is called Payment Code, and lets users pay by checking into a store with their PayPal app or a merchant’s own app. Merchants simply scan a QR code or enter a four-digit code to complete transactions.
When the consumer is shopping in the store, and is ready to pay, they can open the app, and check in. From there, they’ll be prompted with the QR code or four-digit code, and the merchant can scan it with their barcode or QR code scanner, or the merchant (or consumer) can enter the four-digit code on the PIN pad, and the items are paid for.
“As we have said many times before, the problem that needs to be solved is not paying at a POS terminal,” says Don Kingsborough, Vice President of Retail Services at PayPal. “While payment code does make the checkout process smooth, with easy access to all funding sources in one simple place (your phone), the real benefit is that it will allow consumers to automatically redeem any special offers, gift cards, merchant rewards programs or other forms of payment that might be saved in their PayPal wallet in one quick transaction.”
“Utilizing the millions of 2D barcode scanners already sitting on store counters and 40+ million payment terminals available around the world, this offers an easy way to give customers the benefits without investing in new technology,” he says.
Payment code was announced at the Money2020 conference. TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden interviewed Kingsborough. Here’s an interesting excerpt from that:
Kingsborough says that initially Payment Code with work with merchants who are part of the Discover Network “in a few million locations”, along with several banks like First Data, with more credit card partners getting added over time. As for retailers, PayPal declines to name who its partners will be when it rolls the service out at the end of the year, but Kingsborough notes that likely early partners will be those who already have rolled out other payment services with PayPal, such as Home Depot.
Last month, PayPal announced an innovative way into retail stores via the plug-in Beacon device, which enables shoppers to use the PayPal app to pay for their orders without having to wait in line, or in some cases even touch their phones. The device uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to avoid poor cellular connections and battery drain, and PayPal enabled phones will recognize when they’re in a store that has the device, so the two can can communicate with each other.
If Beacon and Payment Code can both gain widespread adoption, the general in-store payments scene may start looking a lot different (and more convenient) in the near future.
PayPal says Payment Code will roll out globally in the first quarter of next year.