For PayPal it’s no longer about E-Commerce…it’s just Commerce

PayPal recently announced its new PayPal Wallet, which will be released in the next twelve months. PayPal has steadily become a synonymous brand with e-commerce, but now they are taking their efforts offline in hopes of gaining a piece of the huge market share of mobile payments. PayPal has evolved over the years. It has gone from that complicated online payment option to a safe and secure preferred online payment method.  I have since learned that as an entrepreneur having a PayPal account was as necessary as having a business bank account.

What grabbed my attention was not the fact that it’s a virtual wallet but what this advancement by PayPal could mean for mobile commerce. The PayPal Wallet will have a variety of interesting capabilities in addition to its current mobile app features such as:

  • multiple account payment options
  • storage and use of gift cards
  • access to special offers through applications such as Redlaser and Milo
  • payment plan for expensive items (the item will be paid for in full to the merchant you receive the item and the payment plan arrangements are made between you and PayPal)
  • the ability to change a payment type AFTER making a purchase (ex. you can switch from VISA to Mastercard without a fee)
  • not requiring the use of NFC (remember my post about RFID’s) enabled phones like the other virtual wallets

From a merchant’s perspective PayPal Wallet is also a seamless integration to receiving payment offline as well. Enabling the PayPal Wallet only requires a software upgrade and not a hardware upgrade. This new tool could mean a lot of really good things (revenue and brand wise for the company) if executed correctly. Outside of the US market, PayPal already accepts payments from 190 countries and in 24 currencies. The company has market share globally.  If successful here in the US do not be surprised if you see the PayPal Wallet option offered internationally not too long after.

In a nutshell: PayPal has already been successful as an online merchant service provider. Their new virtual wallet comes with a lot of great benefits however the company does face some potential challenges and must figure out a way to first get Americans to stop swiping and start tapping.

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