Paying for a dress or a cup of coffee requires no cash or credit cards using the PayPal Here system, which is now officially available to Australian shops.
Retailers can now accept PayPal payment from in-store customers with the Australian release of the PayPal Here service.
The technical explanation is that PayPal Here is actually an application programming interface (API) rather than a service. This is tech-speak for providing a mechanism for allowing one program to make use of another.
What it means in this context is that companies that provide point of sale (POS) systems can hook into PayPal in much the same way that they connect to other payment gateways for credit and debit card transactions.
How it works
Here is a video of the system in action at Sonoma Bakery:
The way it works is that customers sign in to their PayPal account by using a mobile app, then order and pay for the products from any of the sources of funds associated with that account.
The POS system receives checked-in PayPal customers' names and photos, helping with customer engagement and providing an extra degree of security. There was no indication whether PayPal has followed the lead of some banks that offer physical cards bearing customer photos and made provision for people such as transvestites who adopt very different appearances at different times.
If your business is too small to need a POS system, your smartphone can be a more affordable way of accepting card payments than renting an EFTPOS terminal.
The local release was foreshadowed earlier this year.
The first POS providers to include PayPal payments in Australia are MICROS, Island Pacific, Kounta and Vend, and their pilot customers are Guzman Y Gomez, Glue Store, Sonoma Bakery, and Crayons.
PayPal Here was introduced in the US in 2011.