PayPal has announced a change to its plans regarding NFC with two initiatives – an upgrade to its app that will support the technology and an alliance with Vodafone for contactless payments.
Customers in the US and Australia will be able to make NFC-based payments using the PayPal app on their
smartphones, starting in Q2 2016.
In addition, PayPal has joined forces with Vodafone so the operator’s mobile wallet users in a number of European countries can make NFC-enabled payments.
The service is initially available in Spain, starting this week. Other European markets will follow later in 2016.
PayPal’s announcement is an acknowledgement that NFC has gained some traction over the last 18 months. The technology has gathered a number of high profile supporters, including Apple, Samsung and Google.
The previous stance of the payments firm and its former eBay parent was very different. eBay CEO John Donahoe famously described NFC as standing for “Not For Commerce”.
And former PayPal president David Marcus (now at Facebook) expressed scepticism about the technology on several occasions.
Adopting NFC fills a gap in this line-up, which is in-store payments. In trying to match rivals such as Visa and MasterCard, PayPal must be available to users in locations such as shops and restaurants.