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PayPal launch Beacon

PayPal announced PayPal Beacon, a low-powered Bluetooth device that will allow PayPal Beaconconsumers to automatically check-in at local stores.

The company descibes it as a “complete hands free experience” that will “reinvent today’s in-store shopping experience.”

“PayPal Beacon opens the door to a fundamentally different way to use technology to make shopping more valuable and more personal for consumers and retailers,” explains David Marcus, president of PayPal.

“We challenged ourselves to find a better experience than swiping a credit card. We figured the only better way to pay would be to do nothing. Just walk in a store, and, like magic, when you’re ready to pay, money is transferred securely. No wallet. No card. Nothing to do. Not even touching your phone.”

Paypal say that by leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), transactions can take place without having to open up an app, without GPS being turned on, and even without a phone signal.

Consumers will also have full control of stores they will want to check in to, those they will want to get prompted to confirm payment for, and stores they will want to enable a complete hands-free experience for.

“PayPal Beacon won’t constantly track a user’s location,” Marcus continues. “If a consumer enters a store and declines to check in, or just ignores the prompt entirely, no information is transmitted to PayPal or the merchant.”

Paypal also said the system would have significant benefits for retailers, and that any store running POS systems compatible with PayPal, including Booker, Erply, Leaf, Leapset, Micros, NCR, PayPal Here, Revel, ShopKeep, TouchBistro and Vend, will simply plug a PayPal Beacon device in a power outlet in their store.

The online payment company said in a statement that it will be opening up our mobile in-store API soon for 100 developers to imagine ways to make the shopping experience better, from being able to self-checkout on your mobile phone to automatically placing a customer’s usual order as soon as they walk through the door.

PayPal expects PayPal Beacon to become broadly available from early 2014 and the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan will be the first locations to get the dongle.

Select developers can get a chance to experiment with PayPal’s API and a developer version of the PayPal Beacon device by submitting their ideas at www.paypal.com/beacon.

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