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PayPal Launches Beacon, A USB Bluetooth Device To Accept Hands-Free Payments

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PayPal has launched an interesting device, that may be how consumers may shop in the future. Called Paypal Beacon, it is a bluetooth powered USB device that the merchant plugs it inside their establishment and then are able to seamlessly accept payments from customers who have paypal app on their mobile phones.

Paypal Beacon

Here is how PayPal Beacon works in more detail – The aim of this device is to enable seamless customer payments at business establishments that are hands-free and secure. Business owners can integrate PayPal Beacon with variety of existing Point of Sale systems and plug it in their store. Any customer who has PayPal app installed on their phones will be automatically identified when they are in the range of PayPal Beacon. The customer will get a phone vibration indicating that they have checked into an establishments that accepts hands-free payments. They will then have to just authorize on their phones and establishment can charge their paypal account for goods purchased, upon which the transaction is completed.

From consumers perspective they have full control over which establishment they allow to charge for payments. At the same time they also have a option to “always allow” auto check-in at any merchant of their choice.

Paypal has just made the announcement of this device and currently are in discussions with several merchants. PayPal has said that beacon will be generally available for merchants to purchase by early next year. At that time, it will be compatible with PayPal Here, their mobile card reader and application, as well as PayPal’s consumer app.

One of the reasons why PayPal has announced Beacon so early is because they want developers to start building products around it using their APIs. They have opened up their mobile in-store payments API for the first time so that developer community can build apps around it.

Will we get it in India?

Given PayPal’s history with India, I do not have any hopes that PayPal may launch beacon here anytime soon. However, we are excited because this is the future of shopping. It will take atleast a few years for something like to arrive in India.

Hopefully by then we will have a Indian payment gateway that is parallel to what PayPal is!

What do you think of PayPal Beacon?

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