The online payment company PayPal wants to bring its technology to a store near you, changing how you pay for products and how you use money in general. Home Depot is the first big company to accept PayPal, which requires a cell phone number and PIN once you’ve reached the checkout isle. PayPal’s phone app is also being redesigned, allowing you to change how you pay for an item after the fact, distributing payment over different credit or debit cards according to your wishes. The company has also designed a credit card swiping accessory for smartphones.
What’s the Big Idea?
Digital commerce, once an alternative to shopping in physical stores, is becoming an essential part of everyday transactions. While PayPal processed $119 billion dollars last year, $4 billion of which came from mobile devices, e-commerce still accounts for only 9 percent of US retail sales. “The remainder occurs in physical stores, which explains why retail payments are rapidly becoming a battlefield contested by tech companies including PayPal, Google, and even mobile-phone operators.” Do you think social media have a place in this payment equation or should how people spend their money be kept private?