Mobile payments goes hands free with PayPal Beacon

Mobile Payments Video

The technology uses Bluetooth LE to make it possible for the service to expand.

PayPal has just unveiled the very latest in its mobile payments offerings, an extension of its overall program, and is now promising to make it even easier to pay for products and services through the use of a smartphone, to the point that it is – according to the company – even simpler than using a credit card.

Though there are already many other options being developed, PayPal hopes this will be the most attractive.

There are, arguably, already a large number of mobile payments programs that could make completing transactions simpler than swiping a credit card. Offerings range from the auto-reloads of the Starbucks card to the high tech Square accounts. However, PayPal claims that its new Beacon add-on accessory will leave them all behind.

The mobile payments device will make it possible for customers to pay for their purchases, hands free.

Beacon is a USB module that is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology and that is made for merchants so that their customers can pay for what they buy, hands free. The device makes it possible for smartphones with the PayPal app, and point of sale (POS) devices to be able to communicate with each other. This requires no mobile network, wireless, or GPS to function.

The initial demonstrations and the promo videos that have been released make it look as though PayPal Beacon my actually live up to the claims. Essentially, a customer can set up their own preferences through their smartphone and the PayPal app, so that they decide where they will automatically check in and be charged for products, services, and other bills such as those at cafes and restaurants.

David Marcus, the president of PayPal, explained that this new method of mobile payments would make the following scenario possible: instead of the typical pattern at a restaurant, in which a customer finishes the meal, waits for the server to deliver the bill, then waits for the credit card to be run by the server and either a signature or a PIN is required, all that is required using this service is the PayPal app. The transaction is completed as soon as the customer is ready, and he or she can leave.

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