PayPal Readies Shutdown For its In-Store Payment System
Sometimes, technology just gets old and obsolete, no matter how much we’d sooner keep it around. Just ask anyone who’s still using Windows XP. Sometimes we jut prefer an old technology and wish it would never go away, and sometimes, it’s just plain old taken from us. PayPal is doing something similar, taking its in-store mobile payments option out of the equation largely because of aging technology, according to recent reports.
Two services comprise PayPal’s in-store presence, and both are buckling according to the latest word. One service used a combination of a user’s mobile number and a PIN code, while the other used payment codes altogether. Both will be shut down before April Fool’s Day, after about six years of operation. The phone number / PIN service had previously been available at retailers like Home Depot, Office Depot and Toys ‘R’ Us, but never really caught on the way many had hoped.
So what is PayPal replacing its in-store presence with? That’s not immediately clear, but PayPal has been working with more traditional payment operations like Visa to set up new operations. An earlier-announced collaboration allows users to make international payments in local currencies using an email address, and there’s also been some work with Bank of America.
This is likely less a problem than some may think. While it may look like PayPal’s ditching the in-store trade—which would just basically compound the problems that PayPal is already seeing with eBay’s issues—PayPal has a pretty robust in-store presence as it sits. Even just a quick look at PayPal’s main web page shows how quick response (QR) codes are getting in on the action, and PayPal even boasts a complete store directory that shows where shoppers can take their PayPal accounts.
Essentially, it looks like PayPal is just retiring a system that didn’t really catch on so it can focus on bringing out systems that do catch on. That’s good news; the last thing we needed to hear was a major player like PayPal ceding the brick-and-mortar market. But that’s not the case, the reports all suggest, and now PayPal can work toward getting more of the mobile payments market in on its side.