PayPal Tests QR Codes In Shop Windows; Mobile Check-Ins At Stores For Personalized Service

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PayPal is rolling out a number of payments pilots this week in international markets, showcasing the company’s mobile payments technologies. We’ve seen PayPal test payments technologies before larger rollouts — the company recently did this with its in-store payments technology at Home Depot and a deal with McDonald’s.

In Australia, four mid-size retailers are launching an in-store payments technology with PayPal. Using the PayPal mobile app, customers can check-in to a store and then place an order and pay using their PayPal account. The merchant is able to see the name and photo ID of checked-in customers via their point of sale terminal, which supports customer identification for security purposes. PayPal says that this allows merchants to provide personalized service to customers, as well as integrate them into loyalty programs. It’s similar in theory to Square’s Pay With Square functionality.

PayPal says the integration with existing point of sale solutions use the PayPal Here APIs. The company says that in the next few months, a number of hospitality and retail partners in Australia will be introducing the mobile payments technology, as well.

Another area where PayPal is looking to tie payments is window shopping. In Amsterdam’s popular shopping district, De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets); PayPal is teaming up with 30 stores to allow users to scan a code in a window and buy items.

Here’s how it works. Participating stores have affixed QR codes to their shop window. With a dedicated De 9 Straatjes 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 shop windows. You can then select the product of your choice, in your desired color or size, buy it with PayPal, and have it delivered to your home.

As the company says in a blog post, “2012 is a test and learn year for all of us at PayPal around the world. We are testing many new ways for customers to shop anywhere they want. With this project we’re learning more about how to maximize the fantastic real estate available in shop windows to help sales 24×7.”

The pilot with McDonald’s across 30 fast food stores in France allows purchasers to pre-order their Big Macs on the McDonald’s mobile app or online, pay with PayPal and then skip the line for pick-up. There’s a dedicated area where you can pick up your pre-ordered food.

Bringing PayPal to window shopping is an interesting take. There’s a question of whether QR codes have lasting power, but clearly PayPal is trying and testing everything, especially when it comes to mobile technologies and retail. The company has also been actively trying to court physical retailers of all sizes to adopt mobile payments technologies.

We know PayPal is trying to iterate and innovate at a faster pace these days, and these rollouts and tests are part of this. We’ll see soon what makes the cut and actually emerges as a permanent part of PayPal’s payments product suite.