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It was trialled at a few retailers in Richmond, London in August and has since been rolled out to more than 1,000 merchants nationwide including restaurant chains Prezzo and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. For merchants the potential benefits of the service include the opportunity to gather more data about consumers and expand their businesses across different channels. PayPal expects to add more locations to the app in 2014.
PayPal UK marketing director Alison Sagar says: “The data and insight that you can get about a customer when they pay on a mobile device is much greater than when a person walks into a store and you don’t know anything about them.”
In September, PayPal unveiled Beacon: an automated mobile payment system that allows people to make payments hands-free. Running on the same Bluetooth Low Energy technology used by Apple’s iBeacons system, Beacon allows PayPal to automatically check people in when they walk into a store.
PayPal is working with developers ahead of rolling out the technology next year. Since the system involves the automated transfer of financial data, its adoption is likely to be on a limited trial basis at first.