PayPal's Beacon Offers Mobile Payment Alternative
PayPal today announced Beacon, a plug-and-play device that retailers can install in their stores to enable automatic smartphone payments. In designing Beacon, PayPal said it wanted to make in-store payments easier than using a credit card. The system uses Bluetooth Low Energy and prompts smartphone owners to check in when they enter the store. PayPal said that customers will have control over what data of theirs is tracked by the device, such as location and payment methods. "Simply walking in a store will trigger a vibration or sound to confirm a successful check in," explained PayPal in a post on the company's blog. "Your photo will then appear on the screen of the Point-of-Sale system so you can be greeted by name. Paying only requires a verbal confirmation, and you're done. No wallet. No card. Nothing to do. Not even touching your phone." PayPal did not provide too many specifics about how Beacon works with smartphone apps behind the scenes (such as how items are scanned and added to a virtual shopping cart), but did say that today's announcement is more for developers than anyone else. It will be up to developers to use the PayPal mobile in-store API to add mobile payment services to their own apps and stores. For example, PayPal envisions that with Beacon, customers will trigger a preset order at their favorite deli just by walking through the door, as well as permit self check-outs to avoid paying at the register. The Beacon which plugs into a regular electrical outlet, is expected to be available for stores and retailers for about $100 later this year. PayPal's announcement of the Beacon follows a recent update to its mobile application that also enables real-world payments from smartphones.
PayPal Reaches BlackBerry 10 Devices
PayPal has made a version of its mobile application available in the BlackBerry World app store for devices running BlackBerry OS 10.x. With this new app, PayPal is available to Android, BlackBerry, Fire OS, iOS, and Windows smartphones.
Android Pay and PayPal Now Play Nice
Google's Android Pay service is now compatible with PayPal. The companies today announced that Android Pay users can opt to use their PayPal account as a source of funds when making tap-and-go payments at retail stores or on the web.
PayPal to Kill Off Its Windows Phone and BlackBerry Apps
PayPal today said it will sunset its Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Amazon Fire Phone apps on June 30. After that date, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Fire Phone users will not be able to login to or use the Paypal mobile app.
BBM Gains PayPal for Android, BlackBerry, iOS
BlackBerry today added a handful of new features to its cross-platform messaging service. All versions of BBM (Android, BlackBerry, iOS) earn the ability to send money to BBM contacts using PayPal.