Shopping, as we know it, is changing. During the holiday season, shopping centers are still packed with people choosing gifts for their loved ones, but now technology plays an increasingly significant role in how those choices are made. And paid for.
People purchase a My Cash Card, which are available as of today at more than 30,000 retail locations across the U.S. They then create an account on the companion PayPal site and load the funds into their PayPal account using the PIN number on the back of the card. From there, they can online shop to their hearts’ and wallet’s content.
This is a useful option for people who prefer or only have access to cash, but want to make purchases online. Those folks in cash-flow heavy professions (bartenders, strippers, and so on), people wary of large financial institutions, or those who simply do not have a credit/debit card can now join in the fun of online shopping.
PayPal joined with InComm for this initiative, a company that provides a suite of prepaid products. It is part of PayPal’s overarching mission to be the method that people pay for everything, online, offline, and the netherworld in-between. In August, PayPal announced a partnership with Discover that will bring its technology to the point-of-sale (POS) for millions of merchants. Once the integration is complete, consumers will be able to pay using their PayPal accounts in-store. Rather than pulling out a wallet, all they need to do is type in their mobile number and a PIN.
During a roundtable chat yesterday with Hill Ferguson, PayPal’s VP of global product, he said that all these consumer engagement initiatives are in an effort to create a one-stop-shop for retail payments.
“We have spent the past year and a half reinventing and reinvigorating the brand to give it a personality,” he said. “We have 117 million active users. We help offline users get online and online users get offline to make the shopping experience as secure and convenient as possible. Our vision is to be the global digital wallet.”
PayPal started out as an internet payment service way back in the 1990s and was acquired by eBay in 2002. Like any savvy company in the e-commerce/payments space, it has put a heavy emphasis on mobile transactions and has seen record mobile shopping numbers over the past few weeks. Whether physical wallets are to be relegated to the domain of pocket watches and monocles is still up in the air. PayPal, however, is hard at work to create options for all shoppers, regardless of their payment proclivities.