PayPal’s efforts to move away from online-only transactions have intensified of late. The firm followed up its recent introduction of PayPal Herewith the new SmartPay app. Released in partnership with convenience store Cumberland Farms, SmartPay makes paying for fuel fast and convenient. Using your smartphone’s GPS, SmartPay pinpoints your location, asks for your pump number, and after fueling, allows you to pay using your PayPal account. After the transaction is processed, a receipt is sent to the e-mail address linked with the PayPal account.
Going Beyond Apps to the Storefront
In addition to the SmartPay and PayPal Here apps, the firm has started to make inroads with major retailers. Home Depot became the first large retail chain to accept PayPal at the point-of-sale. To pay using PayPal, Home Depot customers must link their cell phone number to their PayPal account on the PayPal website and create a PIN for the linked phone number. When checking out in-store, customers simply enter their phone number and their pin to complete the purchase.
PayPal has no plans to stop with Home Depot. In January, PayPal partnered with ABJ Software, a tech company that created the payment interface for retailers Kohls and Best Buy. After speaking with a customer service representative at PayPal, we were informed that the company’s goal is to have PayPal accepted everywhere MasterCard is accepted by the end of the year.
If PayPal can become a standard payment option at major retailers, it would be a significant step towards competing with banks and credit card issuers. PayPal has the platform in place, now it may simply be a matter of acceptance by the financial and business communities. With so many established payment options already available, it will be interesting to see if PayPal can carve out a spot in an already crowded market.