Throughout the past year or so, PayPal has been working to make its in-store payment platform more robust by bringing in a number of new retail partners, including Home Depot, Guitar Center, Barnes & Noble, and JC Penney. However, today the company has revealed that PayPal users can now pay for items in over 18,000 physical stores throughout the US.
PayPal announced today that 23 large national retailers have begun participating in PayPal Now, and the service is now available at 18,000 retail locations around the United States. PayPal Now officially launched back in May of 2012 to extend PayPal’s payment platform into physical stores. Shoppers simply enter their phone number and a pin code during checkout instead of swiping their credit or debit card.
The service is definitely useful for people who forget their wallets, or for those who just prefer to keep all of their transaction under one roof. There are also opportunities to earn digital coupons and loyalty points by choosing this method of payment, so there's definitely an incentive to use the new platform other than convenience.
Square is obviously PayPal's biggest competitor, with its own plans in the retail realm that includes a major partnership with Starbucks. It'll be interesting to see where the mobile payment industry goes from here. Google Wallet is making the rounds, and while it's not yet a well-known avenue for payments, it just could be a matter of time before we see it take off.