PayPal looks like it could steal some attention away from NFC (Near Field Communication) payments in the UK with the release of its latest app. The new app, which is called PayPal inStore, allows UK shoppers to use their iPhone to pay for goods within certain stores. Those stores currently include fashion chains Coast, Oasis, Warehouse, and Karen Millen.
The PayPal inStore app, available for Android and Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) devices, brings the flexibility of online shopping to the high street. If you want to use your mobile to pay for your new summer outfit, our app simply generates a unique barcode and transaction number, which the shop cashier scans to take payment from your PayPal account. It even works when there is no mobile or Wi-Fi signal! Safety and security are at the heart of everything PayPal does and this is no different when it comes to mobile payments. You unlock the application with a unique PIN number, and no personal or financial information, or money, is stored on your phone.
PayPal is actively talking to many other stores so it shouldn’t be long before the technology gets rolled out to other retailers. PayPal may have a fight on its hands as NFC is certainly seen as the standard that most credit card companies are backing for contactless payments. However there has been very little seen of the technology in the mobile world with the exception of Google Wallet. Apple has been rumored to include the technology in its next devices but there is still no concrete plans in place to embrace the technology. That may well change with the release of the next iPhone but until then, PayPal may have built up a nice lead in the UK high street.
I very much like the idea of ditching my cards and simply using my iPhone to pay as I go; after all, it is always with me wherever I am. It will be interesting to see if Apple has anything to say about NFC or a similar system at WWDC 2012.
If you are in the UK and would like to give the app a try, you can download it from the link below.
Source: PayPal Blog