PayPal today announced PayPal Beacon, a new technology for merchants that will enable you to pay at stores completely hands-free.
"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 will leverage Bluetooth Low Energy; a 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. 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 shopping experiences 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.
Paypal will be opening up its mobile in-store API soon for 100 developers to imagine ways to make the shopping experience better, from being able to self-checkout on your mobile phone to automatically placing a customer?s usual order as soon as they walk through the door.
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.