PayPal Is Piloting A Wireless Smartwatch Payment System

The beacon-enabled system, being tested at PayPal's on-campus cafe, lets users buy their lattes simply by walking into the store with a Samsung Galaxy wearable.

From parking apps to Square, one of the key elements in the growth of the mobile industry is finding ways to make it easier for people to part with their money. Now PayPal is piloting a new program to enable wireless payments with smartwatches.

The pilot, which PayPal is trying out in its on-campus Starbucks in San Jose, pairs Bluetooth Low Energy beacons with Samsung Galaxy smart wearables. No bank card or smartphone is needed—just a face, and a wrist wearing the watch.

With PayPal’s new app for the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch and the Gear Fit fitness band, patrons receive a push notification when they walk into the area covered by a PayPal Beacon installed inside.

The user’s name and photo automatically appear on the point-of-sale system—also eliminating hilarious barista name misunderstandings. Another push notification is sent once a sale is rung up, and users tap their wearable to confirm payment. PayPal's new Samsung smartwatch app already enables users to check in to pay at thousands of stores around the country to avoid taking out their wallet or phone—the beacon-enabled program would eliminate even that login step.

No timeline from PayPal on an expansion, but PayPal senior PR manager Kathy Chui told Mobile Commerce Daily that "overall, PayPal employees that have used Beacon and/or Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch have loved their experience and are excited for the larger rollout."

[Image: Flickr user 15216811@N06]

Add New Comment

3 Comments

  • Great to see Starbucks and Paypal doing this. I'm assuming it's the Starbucks application that has the functionality for the Beacons built in, or is it Paypal? There is money to be made, but beacons can be used for something like a college, university, museum or art gallery Open House, which is why we're creating http://openhouses.do. More information can be found at our Kickstarter campaign: http://kck.st/1h2zbWG.

  • Carl Erikson

    I just read this after getting the link through my Twitter feed. This should be interesting over the next year or so.

    Sentegra, www.sentegra.com, is pleased to announce that U.S. Patent No. 8,706,627 B2, entitled “Apparatus, systems and methods for wirelessly transacting financial transfers, electronically recordable authorization transfers and other information transfers” was issued by the United States Patent & Trademark Office on April 22nd, 2014 with a priority date of February 9, 2000, http://www.scribd.com/doc/220142145/Patent-8-706-627. The company continues to pursue additional patent protection for its innovations.

    Sentegra is also pleased to announce a partnership with New York City-based Markman Advisors with respect to the company’s patent monetization efforts. Any inquiries regarding the newly-issued patent and licensing of Sentegra's IP should be directed to the attention of Markman Advisors, www.markmanadvisors.com.