Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal today, online payment provider Paypal and home improvement chain Home Depot are teaming up to bring a pilot test program of in-store Paypal payments at select Home Depot locations. While PayPal’s new point-of-sale system is only being rolled out at five Home Depot locations to start, the company hopes to expand the program over the coming months. By introducing a way to pay with Paypal while inside a brick-and-mortar retailer, this brings the online payments company one step close to competing with major credit card companies like American Express, Visa and Mastercard.
In order to pay with Paypal at the register, shoppers will be asked to type the phone number tied to their Paypal account as well as a personal-identification number into the payment terminal. Paypal also has plans to issue a plastic card with a magnetic strip that can be swiped at these terminals, basically identical to a debit card. Paypal has spent the last six months aggressively pitching the new payment process to major retailers, but has been working on the terminals as well as quietly floating the idea to retailers over the last two and a half years. Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush, stated “We believe a full Home Depot roll out would increase PayPal’s addressable market by more than 35 percent overnight.“
Paypal is currently undergoing internal turmoil after former President Scott Thompson exited the company in order to take the CEO position at Yahoo! Inc. The company has also faced a negative online reaction this week after pictures of a smashed violin when viral. The online payment company ordered that the antique violin be destroyed due to suspicion of counterfeit goods leaving the seller $2,500 lighter. A representative from Paypal has stated that the company is looking into the case, but they won’t officially comment on the progress of the dispute.
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