PayPal Tests Tech in Several Countries

eBay Inc. Staff

Tests in Amsterdam, Australia and France showcase mobile technologies and conveniences for customers.

As seen in two new videos, around the world, PayPal is testing innovative payments ideas, many of them showcasing mobile payments. On Nov. 14, TechCrunch reported on many of the concepts being tested, and the PayPal Blog has highlighted that 2012 is a “test and learn” year where a number of surprising technologies are in trials.

QR Codes in Amsterdam
“The next wave [in payments] will be a dramatic blurring of the lines between e-Commerce, m-Commerce and high street retail,” wrote Eelco van Wijk, PayPal’s Country Manager in the Netherlands & Belgium, in a blog post. “Physical retailers will use Internet technology to make consumers’ lives easier in several different ways: skipping the line; ordering remotely and picking up in store; location-based shopping assistance; or opt-in, user profile-based service and incentives.”

In Amsterdam, a popular shopping district called De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets)  offers a variety of unusual shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, culture and art.  There, PayPal is testing 24-hour window shopping in 30 exclusive boutiques.

“All participating shops have affixed QR codes to their shop window,” reports van Wijk. “With the special 9straatjesonline mobile app you can scan the QR code, which will automatically direct you to a mobile website where you’ll see the products displayed in the shopping windows. You can then select the product of your choice, in your desired color or size and buy it with PayPal in just one click. It will be delivered to your home address in a beautiful gift box within two work days.”

In-Store Innovation in Australia
Meanwhile, PayPal has also announced that four leading retailers will launch in-store payments with PayPal. Working in collaboration with point-of-sale technology companies, PayPal will provide Australian consumers with a completely new way to pay in-store.

Through a mobile app, Australian customers will be able to check-in to the stores. They can then place orders and pay using their PayPal account. Merchants are able to see the names and photo IDs of customers who have checked in on in-store terminals.

“The check-in functionality makes it possible for the merchant to provide personalized service to regular customers and reward them with loyalty programs,” said Jeff Clementz, Vice President and Managing Director of PayPal Australia and New Zealand, in a post.

McDonald’s Tests in France
Reuters has reported on McDonald's testing a mobile payments service featuring PayPal at 30 of its restaurants in France.  In the trial, McDonald's customers can order food on smartphones either online or with a McDonald's mobile app, and pay with PayPal.

"If McDonald's customers can stand in line and order on a mobile app and pay with PayPal that is a huge extension of PayPal's reach," said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, in the Reuters story. Luria added that the technology in the trial could shorten wait times at McDonald’s restaurants.

"We know PayPal is trying to iterate and innovate at a faster pace these days, and these rollouts and tests are part of this," Leena Rao reported in TechCrunch’s coverage of PayPal’s global tests of innovative technologies.