Venmo has grown as one of the most popular ways to send friends money, and soon it might be one of the most popular ways to pay stores too. Venmo and its parent, PayPal, have announced that they’re adding in-store payments to both of their mobile apps as soon as early 2017.
The in-store payment services will use similar methods to Apple Pay and Android Pay, making use of a smartphone’s NFC chip to communicate with pay terminals.
In-store payments will first be available to Android users, but not because of anything to do with the teams behind the apps. The reason is that Apple currently keeps the NFC chip inside of the iPhone closed off to third-party developers.
Still, Jim Magats, head of global core payments at PayPal, told Quartz that the company is in talks with Apple to see how they can work together in the future, so while there’s no specific date on iPhone compatibility with the new future, it is being pursued.
Of course, Venmo and PayPal aren’t along in the mobile wallet space, and they really have an uphill battle ahead of them. Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay have all taken off, and while Apple Pay most certainly leads the pack, the others also each have a substantial user base. It will be difficult for PayPal to convince people to make the switch.
Venmo has also been trying to gain steam in the in-app payments world. That feature has been rolling out to customers since earlier this year, allowing users to pay for things within apps on their phone — for example within the eBay app.
The news comes shortly after PayPal inked a new deal with MasterCard to use its tokenization technology for mobile payments. To do that, however, PayPal had to agree to make MasterCard-branded credit cards available as default payment methods for purchases.