PayPal Beacon is a new technology for merchants that will enable consumers to pay at many of their favorite stores completely hands-free. It will reinvent today’s in-store shopping experience by making it simpler, faster and richer for consumers, while providing retailers with more ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
“PayPal Beacon opens the door to a fundamentally different way to use technology to make shopping more valuable and more personal for consumers and retailers,” said David Marcus, president, PayPal. “We challenged ourselves to find a better experience than swiping a credit card. We figured the only better way to pay would be to do nothing. Just walk in a store, and, like magic, when you’re ready to pay, money is transferred securely. No wallet. No card. Nothing to do. Not even touching your phone.”
Faster than swiping a credit card or tapping a mobile phone at the point of sale, PayPal Beacon will make the payment experience get out of the way. It will leverage Bluetooth Low Energy; a breakthrough technology that enables connected devices to communicate with each other seamlessly, while keeping the energy consumption at a very low level. By using BLE, transactions can take place without having to open up an app, without GPS being turned on, and even without a phone signal.
Consumers will have full control of stores they will want to check in to, those they will want to get prompted to confirm payment for, and stores they will want to enable a complete hands-free experience for. We value our customers’ privacy, so PayPal Beacon won’t constantly track a user’s location. If a consumer enters a store and declines to check in, or just ignores the prompt entirely, no information is transmitted to PayPal or the merchant.
For retailers, PayPal Beacon means they don’t have to incentivize consumers to download another app. They can provide more unique, branded shopping experiences to millions of consumers through the PayPal app. Any store running point of sale systems compatible with PayPal, including Booker, Erply, Leaf, Leapset, Micros, NCR, PayPal Here, Revel, ShopKeep, TouchBistro and Vend, and many more soon, will simply plug a PayPal Beacon device in a power outlet in their store. Once the Beacon is plugged in, they will be ready to offer the best, most personal shopping experience ever.
Developers can get a chance to get access to PayPal’s mobile in-store API to create Beacon-enabled shopping experiences for select retailers this year. PayPal Beacon devices will be generally available for merchants to purchase early next year. At that time, consumers will be able to download or update a new version of the PayPal app to take advantage of Beacon-enabled shopping experiences.