Following yesterday’s news of PayPal’s expanded U.S. footprint in retail, which saw seven more national chains sign-up to offer PayPal’s in-store payments in their brick-and-mortar stores, the company today announced that it is also partnering with point-of-sale and hardware maker NCR to expand into restaurants, as well as into other businesses, including gas stations and convenience stores.
The NCR mobile app, announced in early December, allows restaurants’ customers to order alert their server, re-order menu items and browse their bill from their smartphones. It works, of course, only in restaurants’ that have NCR’s point-of-sale system installed. But that’s still a large group – over 60,000 restaurants use NCR’s Aloha point-of-sale.
Because of its limited-use case, however, it’s unlikely that such an app as NCR’s will ever gain serious traction in the mobile payments space. That’s why PayPal’s announcement of the reverse – that the same technology is coming to its own mobile app – is the more exciting announcement. According to PayPal, consumers will be able to locate, order ahead, and check-in at the participating NCR Mobile Pay merchants to access the same functionality.
Additionally, PayPal’s mobile payment options will be integrated into a couple of more NCR product offerings, which include NCR’s Convenience-Go (C-Go) app, a white labeled solution for gas stations and convenience stores, as well as NCR’s Netkey Endless Aisle app, which is an in-store shopping companion.
NCR, which is best known for its restaurant and hospitality industry footprint, is used by 38 percent of the top 100 U.S. restaurant chains, and it has deployed over 100,000 self-checkout kiosks to retailers. Its customer base include 8 of the 10 fastest-growing Quick Service restaurants, and 1.2 million retail POS systems as well.
PayPal’s install base includes 117 million accounts (worldwide) and forecasted $10 billion in mobile payment volume in 2012.
Already, PayPal has established partnerships with large brand-name chains, like Famous Footwear, Dollar General, RadioShack, Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, the Home Depot, Jamba Juice, JC Penney, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Nine West, Office Depot, Rooms To Go, Tiger Direct and Toys “R” Us, and others. The company said this week it now has agreements with 23 merchants to offer its service in-store as of the end of 2012, up from the 16 it had announced in May. Twelve of those twenty-three are now live, totaling 18,000 locations.
And last August, PayPal partnered with Discover Financial Services, to equip its 7.2 million merchant locations to accept PayPal.
These announcements come at a time when the disruptive competitor Square has been seeing major growth of its own, having recently received a strategic investment from Starbucks which saw its technology installed in the chain’s 7,000 locations in the U.S., and its mobile card readers sold at Starbucks stores. This month, Square said it would be in over 30,000 retail locations, up from 20,000 in June.
PayPal VP Don Kingsborough, however, told reporters on Monday that PayPal was going to be in “millions of locations.”