This week PayPal's Asia Pacific division took a leap forward in online payment system technology – one that could change the way you pay for nearly everything.
The online-payment pioneer launched mo.bi.pay (which stands for mobile built-in payments), a new payment service for small and medium enterprises.
According to Telecompaper, the mobile plug-in enables merchants to use PayPal shopping carts on Web platforms such as an ecommerce website or online store.
Mo.bi.pay was developed by Vertical Solutions, a development firm in Singapore.
Mobile Payment Technologies
PayPal is active in the area of mobile payment technologies, which the company hopes will enable more consumers, merchants, and processing companies to use PayPal's
Internet-based system in lieu of traditional forms of payment, such as cash and credit cards.
The company's downloadable mobile app lets users make in-store payments anywhere PayPal is accepted. All users need to do is link their bank account as well as credit and debit card information to their PayPal account, and bring a smartphone or tablet into the store.
More shoppers are purchasing products through smartphones and tablets. During the 2013 Thanksgiving shopping weekend, more than half of HSN's traffic (a Russian shopping network) came from mobile devices.
"I see point-of-sale terminals going mobile," Yankee Group analyst Jordan McKee told Mobile Payments Today in an Aug. 2013 article. "In the next five years, the majority of retailers will be using mPOS systems …. as it can help improve the customer shopping experience and also free up floor space for product promotions."
Retail POS purchases totaled $3.98 trillion in 2012, according to research by Javelin Strategy. It is expected to reach $4.2 trillion in 2018. Mobile POS proximity payments is expected to reach $5.4 billion by 2018.
More brick-and-mortar stores and retailers are implementing mobile payment solutions. Last month, Covent Garden Apple Market in London began to accept digital payments (including PayPal's app) from shoppers.
Sports fashion chain JD Sports also recently launched mobile payments across 630 U.K. stores through a partnership with PayPal.
Medisave, a supplier of medical supplies, recently implemented a PayPal-based system as well as Vend cloud-based POS software/app to sell stethoscopes at medical shows. In the past, a seller's point-of-sale involved laptops, barcode scanners, networked printers, and manual credit card terminals.
Now, sellers can simply scan a barcode and swipe a card, and let customers sign a digital screen to complete a transaction.
From 2011 to 2012, the number of mobile POS terminals worldwide increased 111 percent, to 9.5 million from 4.5 million, according to Timetric. The number of mobile terminals is expected to reach 38 million by 2017.
"Over the last year, we've seen larger U.S. merchants install mPOS solutions so their staff can take payments from customers while walking around the store," McKee told Mobile Payments Today. "This unchains the staff from the cash wrap, and allows them to interact more closely with customers on the sales floor."
Will Google play a bigger role?
PayPal now accounts for nearly 42 percent of parent company Ebay's revenues. It's on a buying spree when it comes to mobile technology, having purchased Braintree for $800 million last September, and recently buying StackMob for an undisclosed sum.
As PayPal continues to assert itself in the transaction ecosystem, and as more shoppers become comfortable with mobile payments, related apps and plug-ins should continue to be more common at your neighborhood stores.
Some analysts believe that Google will play a bigger role in mobile, as the technology giant already offers Google Wallet as a way for people to transact online.
Thus, the company's various stand-alone programs could create a single platform that makes it easier for consumers to make purchases more efficiently with their devices.