• PayPal - Another Tap and Pay Contender

    Some bad news for iPhone users over the weekend: According to reports from TechCrunch and The Verge, Apple Pay might not be the saviour of mobile payments after all, at least in this part of the world. And for Canadians there was a Mobile Syrup fluff piece about the next generation of mobile payments in this country—conveniently failing to mention that the current generation of mobile payment systems largely suck, thanks to our banks and carriers.

    Well, guess what? There's another player in the "tap and pay" game, and it's one you may have heard of: PayPal.

    At one point PayPal was going to be a "preferred payment partner" for Apple Pay; that relationship apparently ended with the news that PayPal would support the fingerprint reader on the Samsung Galaxy S5. But PayPal seems to be doing just fine on their own—their app is available right now for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.

    I tried (and failed) to use PayPal in Brisbane, Australia last summer. I had better luck more recently at a local coffee shop.

    Here's a map showing the locations where PayPal is accepted in downtown Toronto. For this demo I chose to get an Aussie-style "flat white" coffee at Kanga Pies.

    Yup, fairly embarrassing photo of me right there; I changed it as soon as I got home...

    The reason why you need a photo at all is so that the cashier can recognize you when it's your turn to pay. Just like Foursquare you "check in" at a location. The cashier can see a list of checked-in PayPal users, so you need only to verify your name when paying and PayPal will take care of the rest.

    Here's what you'll see on your device immediately after a transaction. You'll have to navigate to another screen to see a receipt. Not sure why that is...

    Anyway, here's my flat white, next to a complimentary wireless charging spot. I like this place!

    As for the PayPal app itself, it works a lot like Tab Payments. At this particular place of business PayPal didn't seem to be connected to the cash register, so the only way for me to verify the amount due was to ask the cashier.

    Payment is "frictionless" in that there's no QR code to be scanned like there would be with SmoothPay or the Starbucks app. But I did have to log in to PayPal when I launched the app. Combining that with the mandatory check-in made me wonder if using a PayPass-enabled MasterCard would have been quicker and easier. Then again, if you don't have a PayPass-enabled MasterCard, this isn't a bad alternative.

    When all is said and done I'm 100% okay with any mobile payment solution that doesn't let my bank or carrier get in the way.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: PayPal - Another Tap and Pay Contender started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 8 Comments
    1. mch's Avatar
      mch -
      I suspect none of the current systems is really going to catch on, and that we will mostly end up using chip and pin credit and debit cards in the near future.
    1. Ten Four's Avatar
      Ten Four -
      I suspect none of the current systems is really going to catch on, and that we will mostly end up using chip and pin credit and debit cards in the near future.
      This^^. I don't get the appeal of paying with your phone. Why is it better than the chip and pin card system (which we really don't have in the US yet but will soon)? Judging from how often my phones have broken and things haven't worked as they should it seems like you would be exchanging a cheap, reliable, and simple system (credit cards) for a fragile and complicated system (phones).
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Mobile payments don't have to complicated; banks and carriers made it that way.

      Here's how easy it is to tap and pay in Japan...
    1. Ten Four's Avatar
      Ten Four -
      Sure, but that's Japan. Here in the USA there will be at least three or four different incompatible systems (competition!) and you will only be able to shop in certain stores, and then they will force you to link directly to your checking account so that it can be drained when the lousy security (cost savings!) is breached.
    1. acurrie's Avatar
      acurrie -
      Sounds about right, unfortunately. On the plus side, chip and pin...?
    1. ivaz's Avatar
      ivaz -
      Windows Phone 7?!?! News flash we are on Windows Phone 8.1
    1. SnowyWhite's Avatar
      SnowyWhite -
      Quote Originally Posted by ivaz View Post
      Windows Phone 7?!?! News flash we are on Windows Phone 8.1
      Works with 7.5, 8 and 8.1.
      I have Windows Phones of all those varieties.

      Sent from my Fantastic Galaxy S2
    1. j'vai's Avatar
      j'vai -
      at least before cvs & rite aid here in dc banned NFC payments, things were ALOT more quicker through the self check out spaces, esp when there were only 2-3 able bodies available at the counters, with long lines waiting;

      you drop your basket of goods by the check out, & individually scan them,

      nay or yay whether you needed a bag or not,

      place you items in bag as you scanned them,

      select pay by credit card, use google wallet (or apply pay)

      snatch receipt, bounce..


      now look at em...