PayPal Beacon

Picture for Rene Looper Rene Looper

September 16th 2013

Last week, PayPal launched a new payment system which will allow consumers to make payments merely by giving verbal confirmation.

The new payment system, PayPal Beacon, uses Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as BLE) which enables connected devices to communicate with each other seamlessly, whilst consuming little energy. This technology means that consumers can choose in advance to be automatically “checked-in” to a store, triggering their information to appear on the store’s system, and enabling the merchant to greet the consumer by name. In such cases, payment can be made simply by the consumer giving their consent, providing an entirely cash and card-free experience. The consumer doesn’t even have to take their smartphone out.

“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,” stated PayPal’s president David Marcus.

From a merchant’s perspective, the new device will only require an add-on USB to the Point-of-Sale system, assuming the system is already compatible with PayPal.

It remains to be seen whether this new technology will be successful and sceptics have raised concerns over the possibility of there being tracked customer movements, mis-sharing of information, and customers failing to pay for goods. No doubt improvements will be made before the device is available for merchants use in 2014.

To watch a video which explains PayPal Beacon, see the video below:

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