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Paypal Steps Up Mobile Payment Endeavors

By | 02.10.12

Paypal Steps Up Mobile Payment Endeavors

David Marcus, PayPal’s VP of Mobile, tells AllThingsD this week that it’s still pushing ahead on its mobile payment strategy. Currently the Sam Jose, Calif.-based company is demo-ing its latest technology at Home Depots in the area, and other testing has reached as far as Singapore.

The race to create successful mobile payment applications is also being pursued by credit card giants, Google and wireless carriers. But if today was any indication, security still remains an issue. Yesterday, the blog Smartphone Champ announced that hackers were able to access GoogleWallet just by resetting user PINs.

The global effort to expand PayPal mobile payments has reached Asia, with Singapore subway stations using QR codes on wall signage. Most of the products on sale are Valentine’s Day gifts such as flowers and chocolate. 

PayPal’s digital wallet plan targets the company’s 106 users and retailers of all kinds, from grocery to hardware stores. Last year, the company reported $4 billion in mobile payment volume, including a purchase of a $40,000 backhoe.

The company also has launched a “Shopping Showcase” to demonstrate what retailers stand to gain for offering the mobile payment option. The room included replicas of a clothing store, a grocery store, a coffee house, and a hardware store. Loyalty programs, ease and speed are some of the benefits PayPal touts to retailers who could jump on the mobile payment bandwagon, which already includes Starbucks, Fandango and more.

Not one to go with the crowd, PayPal is straying from using NFC-based technology, stating it’s a step in the wrong direction. Lack of interest and investment by retailers were to blame, and the company is currently looking into other avenues.

The use of PayPal mobile payments is certainly climbing. On January 11, eBay CEO John Donahoe announced that he projects $7 billion in PayPal mobile payment volume for 2012. By comparison, the company saw $750 million in 2010. Point-of-sale checkout counters that run smoothly and consumers’ adoption of the technology are credited for the steady rise. Tablets, which play a major role, accounted for 75 percent of holiday season mobile purchases, mostly made from iPads.

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