PayPal changes tack to embrace NFC

PayPal have announced today at Mobile World Congress 2016 new partnerships and product updates that showcase its vision of using technology to reimagine financial services to be faster, simpler and more inclusive, whether online, in-app, in store or in new contexts

Many of the updates focus around NFC (Near Field Communications), something that back in 2012 then eBay CEO and now PayPal Chairman described as standing for “Not for commerce” saying it wasn’t ready for the market. Since then of course the PayPal Here debit/credit card reader has added NFC support.

The main announcements today

Mobile payments with Vodafone

A collaboration with Vodafone to allow millions of PayPal’s European customers to fund payments using Android smartphones at Visa contactless terminals.

The Vodafone solution is a way for PayPal to grab some of the millions of contactless payments taking place in Europe and somewhat of an acknowledgement that PayPal CheckIn adoption simply hasn’t the traction PayPal needs to cement it’s position in the off-line payments market.

Digital wallets in Mexico and Brazil

Working with telecom providers Telcel and Claro, on their digital wallets to help millions of active users manage and make every day spend purchases via mobile devices.

App overhaul

A redesigned PayPal mobile app in 145 markets around the world to make it simpler and more personal for consumers to move and manage their money

Expanding One Touch payments

One Touch (a rapid online and mobile checkout experience, saving consumers from retyping in all of their payment information) has been opened up to 120 new markets, taking the total to 143. 18 million consumers have already opted in to One Touch, making it one of the fastest adopted products in PayPal’s history

International transfers

Recently acquired Xoom will expand its service in Africa, making it easier for people in the US to quickly and securely send money to family and friends with a M-Pesa account in Kenya

A final interesting titbit is that in the US PayPal are running a private beta that provides retailers with an easy set of tools to allow them to securely sell to their customers wherever they are connecting digitally. Called PayPal Commerce, it opens up retail opportunities in new channels – from social networks to new experiences that have not yet seen any commercial applications.