PayPal Here signs up 200,000 merchants
Ebay is staking out its ground in the race to lead the mobile payments market, as large companies and start-ups alike compete to replace credit cards and cash registers with “mobile wallet” offerings.
PayPal launched new initiatives with large retailers and small businesses in Q1/2012 as the company moved to “define the future of money”, as John Donahoe, CEO and president of eBay, put it (cf. Smart Insights Weekly #12-12). PayPal ended the quarter with 109.8 million active registered accounts, a 12% increase YoY. The unit plans to test new offers throughout the year, challenging similar experiments from Visa, American Express, Google and Square.
It rolled out mobile payment capabilities to 2,000 Home Depot stores where customers can pay by reciting their mobile phone number and a PIN code to the cashier. It has several other retailers under contract for the same system and is negotiating with several more, Mr Donahoe said. It also launched PayPal Here, which is aimed at small businesses and merchants and includes a credit card reader that plugs into the jack of a cell phone and a mobile application that uses the phone’s camera to process credit cards and checks. PayPal has signed up 200,000 merchants to accept payment through its new PayPal Here service, while competitor Square eclipsed the 1-million-merchant mark in December 2011. PayPal Here is now available in the US, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.
With regard to NFC, Mr. Donahoe claims that it will be at least a couple of years before the adoption of NFC at large retailers will take place.