After watching its rivals Square and Groupon play their hands earlier today, PayPal announced a program that allows merchants to trade in their old payment processing equipment in exchange for new hardware. The promotional offer features POS systems from ERPLY, Leaf, Leapset and the company’s own PayPal Here. In addition to luring retailers with a fancy new cash register, the outfit is offering to waive credit, debit, check and PayPal processing fees for the remainder of the year. If the aforementioned incentives sound appealing and you’d like to know more, head on over to our source link to check out the program’s all-important fine print.
PayPal has announced the availability of a new Android SDK. This release is aimed at developers and PayPal notes that it will be able to offer “everything a developer needs to accept both PayPal and credit card payments.” On the flip side though, while the release of the SDK is for developers, it should also serve to improve the payment process for a user looking to pay through PayPal. While there isn’t any timeline as to when this will show up in apps, the SDK will be available beginning on May 15th.
Basically, at this point it is up to the developers to make use of the SDK. This means developers will be able to set things up so the user will be able to make a PayPal payment without having to leave the app. Or in simpler terms, the user will have a streamlined checkout experience. Perhaps even nicer, the user will have multiple options when it comes to making that payment.
They will be able to use a PayPal account or use a credit or debit card by snapping a picture. As far as taking a picture, this will be done using the card.io technology. When using the card.io setup users only have to hold their credit card up and let the app scan the card. For those who may be worried about scanning your credit card, PayPal did mention that is a secure process.
The above image shows a basic example of the PayPal payment setup in an Android app. While the streamlined checkout process will likely be beneficial to the end user, PayPal has also said this will allow developers to make use of a payment solution that scales with them. Further details here mention how they have “128 million account holders across more than 50 financial networks in 190 markets and in 25 currencies around the globe.”
While the end user waits for this to begin showing up in Android apps, here are a few points that developers should know — the PayPal SDK for Android will support v2.2 (Froyo) or later and there will be documentation as well as integration details available on the newly updated PayPal developer site.
When PayPal saw Square for the first time, we’re fairly sure its CEO glumly stared out of the window, said “we’re going to the mattresses” and promptly called the CEO of Discover to talk about an alliance. That unholy union has now brought PayPal into 250,000 retail outlets in the US, and the pair is now promising that the figure will be closer to two million by the end of 2013. Merchant acquirers such as Vantiv, WorldPay and TSYS have also signed up, presumably begging the pair not to let Jack Dorsey take the shirt from their backs.
Following previous statements from MasterCard, Visa is potentially planning to charge mobile payment operators extra fees for their transactions. Speaking at the Barclays Emerging Payments Forum, CEO of Visa Charlie Scharf stated that it would be "totally appropriate" to charge mobile payment processor additional fees for using its cards for payments. Payment systems like PayPal and Google Wallet are what's called a "staged wallet", which acts as an intermediary between credit cards and retailers that are accepting the payments. Because of this, when Visa and MasterCard cards are attached to the services they don't receive back as much information about the purchases being made.
Once relegated to just online purchases, the likes of PayPal and Google Wallet have started to put this payment system to work at physical retail locations as well. This not only directly cuts into the fee income of Visa and MasterCard, but cuts them twice when they also don't receive the valuable customer purchasing data. These additional fees, which MasterCard already plans to implement, will hopefully help in both arenas.
"Help" may not be the best descriptor though, because a new set of fees for staged wallet providers will only reduce the number of choices you have to pay with. Visa and MasterCard have a huge interest in cutting down any competing payment systems that sidestep their current ways of doing things. As many know, they have even gone so far as to launch their own mobile payment systems — to little adoption.
We know that consumers want these types of single-wallet systems to simplify the way they pay for things every day, let's just hope that Visa and MasterCard don't have their way with this one.
US-born mobile payment methods like PayPal Here and Square haven’t had much traction in Europe, due in no small part to the continent’s frequent reliance on chip-and-PIN credit cards over North America’s (slowly outgoing) magnetic stripes. PayPal is getting around that technical barrier through the most direct method possible — replacing the reader altogether. PayPal Here’s UK deployment swaps out the triangular US reader for a considerably bulkier Bluetooth peripheral that takes the newer payment method. Other elements will be familiar to anyone who’s used Here on an Android or iOS device in another country, minus the obligatory changes in currency. PayPal is partnering with a handful of UK businesses before launching Here on a wider scale in the summer — not soon enough for some, but it might save a few Brits from scrounging through their wallets just to buy some ice cream.
While PayPal‘s recently revamped homepage looks fresh and modern, the actual account interface is still mired in the past, seemingly unchanged since the early aughts when the company first hit it big alongside Ugg boots and American Idol. As the online payment giant seeks to reinvent itself however, it’s finally bringing the site design into the future. PayPal has offered a sneak peek at the new look, and it’s certainly more in line with current design tropes, with a cleaner and clearer aesthetic and improved navigation to boot. The refreshed design also hints at the company’s upcoming retail efforts like in-store checkouts and purchasing grace periods where you can buy the item at the store, bring it home and then decide where the funds should come from. We’re still not sure when the redesign will roll out, but we’re guessing it’ll be around when those Discover Network cards come into play. For more screenshots of the new PayPal, take the design tour at the source.
Groupon recently announced that Groupon Payments has been added to its Merchant app for Android phones. Groupon Payments allows merchants using the app to take credit card payments by plugging a small card reader into their smartphone. The app was first launched for iOS in December and then soft-launched for Android later that month.
Groupon Payments will allow the company to compete with Square and Paypal, among others, in the smartphone card reader space. Groupon hopes that by bundling it with its Merchants app, it will gain more traction with the help of all the other Merchants features. These other features include the ability to redeem Groupon deals, email receipts, add tips and scan barcodes.
Fees for swiping payments via Groupon Merchants are 1.8% on Visa, Mastercard, and Discover plus $ .015 per transaction. The fee percentages are slightly higher if you’re not a Groupon merchant, at 2.2% at $ 0.15 per transaction. The charge for American Express swipes is between 2.3% and 3.5% and $ 0 to $ .015 per transaction.
Groupon has seen its struggles recently, but their diversifying of services has paid off with an increase in share price over the last couple months or so. The company will release Q4 and full 2012 results on February 27.
Everyone's favorite universal payment app, Paypal, has just been updated with a few nice features. First off, there's full landscape support in this update — something we're surprised wasn't there before. You can also now set a payment preference for specific stores, so for example you can have one credit card set as a default when you pay Amazon, and another to pay Starbucks.
The changelog also notes that Paypal has improved the performance of check scanning, and users should see fewer issues. It has also increased security and a few UI bugfixes, stuff we'll never scoff at in an update. You can grab the app or an update at the Play Store link above.
One doesn’t have to look far to find my true feelings on just about any company. PayPal, in particular, has been on the wrong end of many examples of customer service gone horribly wrong. After lambasting the payments outfit once more following a gaffe I discovered while interviewing Infinitec co-founder Ahmad Zahran, I did something I rarely do: I reached out to the company’s president on Twitter. A few hours later, the 39-year old David Marcus responded. At the time, I was floored to get anything more than a passing sigh, but after visiting his new home – a nondescript office at PayPal’s headquarters in San Jose, Calif. – I learned that my experience wasn’t a unique one.
Marcus, a tall, handsome chap who was absorbed into eBay after a $ 240 million acquisition of mobile-payments provider Zong, was bestowed with the herculean task of running PayPal not long after Scott Thompson departed for Yahoo. Upon walking up to his office, it becomes immediately clear that he’s aware of it — his room is labeled “GSD,” which the clever among us would recognize as “Get Sh*t Done.” Outside of a few tall windows, there’s little more here than a desk, a striking Nixie clock and a personal coffee machine — seemingly, the bare essentials needed to achieve the three-lettered goal he sees each time he enters. Under Thompson’s guidance, PayPal had grown at a rate seen by only a handful of other companies in the world, notching double-digit profit increases like clockwork. As it turns out, Thompson had little choice but to focus almost entirely on risk management and investor relations during his tenure – with millions in transactions pouring in by the hour, and new nations and currencies being added by the month – it simply had to be all about the numbers.
Now, PayPal finds itself thrust into a new era. It’s an era led by a startup junkie, tasked with getting a 13,000-plus-member team to buy into an entirely new culture. It’s a culture that realizes how sensitive consumers are to financial taboos, how vital it is to iterate before rivals can even plan and how irreparably damaged PayPal’s brand could become if customer service isn’t a top priority as it soldiers into the world of offline payments.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday mark the beginning of the year-end shopping season, and this year retailers pulled out all stops to ensure that they capture the buyers’ attention. For some retailers, preparing for the shopping madness meant ensuring that customers that prefer to shop on their mobile devices could check out orders hassle free. But just how many users took to mobile to pay for their stuff?
According to eBay and PayPal (a subsidiary of eBay), Thanksgiving 2012 brought a 2.5-fold in the global volume of mobile transactions over the same day of 2011. Also, the number of customers that used tablets or smartphones to shop this Thanksgiving was 164% higher than last year.
PayPal also offered a couple of details about the most mobile-friendly shoppers in the US. Apparently, people in Houston, LA, Chicago, Miami, and New York made the most mobile purchases, while the hourly interval with the most activity in this area was 12pm to 1pm PST.
Did you try out mobile shopping? Have you ever paid for an item from your smartphone or tablet?