PayPal is expanding its in-store payments technology to 15 new national retailers, following its initial brick-and-mortar rollout with Home Depot earlier this year. At a press conference held yesterday at PayPal’s San Jose HQ, the company confirmed it is now adding new merchants including Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, Guitar Center, Jamba Juice, JC Penney, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Nine West, Office Depot, Rooms To Go, Tiger Direct and Toys “R” Us.
The merchants will soon be integrating PayPal technology at their point-of-sale, allowing customers to choose it as an alternative payment option to cash, check or charge.
As with the Home Depot integration, customers can either use a PIN code or a special PayPal credit card that can be swiped, in order to deduct the payment from their PayPal accounts. The solution is appealing to retailers, because it doesn’t require a significant investment in new technology, like replacing POS systems or installing some sort of NFC-based solution, for example. In the future, the vision is to scale the PayPal integration to support more merchant-friendly services, like real-time location-based ads and in-store offers.
PayPal is attempting a massive land grab in the race against buzzy new startups like Square, as well as alternative mobile payments and wallet solutions from startups and established players alike. And time appears to be of essence for PayPal. The company says that it went from a 5-store pilot test with Home Depot to a full rollout to the chain’s nearly 2,000 locations in just two months.
In addition to the new retailers, PayPal also announced deals that will allow it to reach mid-market businesses, which have multiple locations and some sort of point-of-sale solution already in place. PayPal is now making it possible for merchants using POS software providers Leapset, ShopKeep, Vend, and Erply to very quickly enable PayPal within their stores – again, without replacing their current POS infrastructure. PayPal notes that through these customers combined, they reach some 50,000 offline businesses. Some of the POS software vendors’ customers have already switched their PayPal integrations on, though the company did not detail how many or who.
Finally, PayPal also announced deals with VeriFone and Equinox, the #1 and #3 POS terminal manufacturers, respectively. These companies will now integrate PayPal into their payment terminals. PayPal is already working with Ingenico, which means it will now reach nearly 40 million POS terminals worldwide.
PayPal hasn’t always been the most beloved brand in the payments space, but its a well-established player with a significant user base, traction, brand recognition and, as demonstrated, the ability to scale quickly. Last year, the company saw over $118 billion in total payment volume, and expects to top $7 billion in mobile payment volume this year. 2012, says President David Marcus in the official announcement, is about testing and learning what works in the offline retail market.
Despite the competition it faces, it’s impossible to count out PayPal’s potential for success in this arena just yet.