Paypal to swipe real-world store payments

A ceramic monster by artist Meg Murray, who does all transactions via the Square mobile payment service. Paypal also plans to start processing payments in the real world, not just online.

Jeremy Hobson: The world's largest online payments business, Paypal, is expected to announce tomorrow that it's getting into a new business, allowing anyone to send and receive debit or credit card payments via smartphone.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports.


Sabri Ben-Achour: At craft shows around Washington D.C., Meg Murray sells, well...

Ben-Achour: Uh, what are these things?
Meg Murray: They're little ceramic monsters, and animals and mythical beasts.
Ben-Achour: I see you have a monster riding a pie.

She doesn’t sell these figurines using a cash register -- she uses her smartphone.

Murray: I’ll take your card and I’ll just swipe it really quick.
Ben-Achour: That’s really easy.
Murray: Yes it is!

The company that makes that possible is called Square, and in just one year, it’s developed a loyal following among a million merchants and processed $4 billion in payments. Now Paypal, known for online payments, now wants a piece of that real-world action.

Scott Kessler: Kind of like going back to the future.

Scott Kessler is an Internet equity analyst at S&P Capital IQ. He says while Paypal is a huge player, it does face a challenge moving from the digital world to the real one.

Kessler: Oftentimes, it is very difficult for let’s say digital technology companies to shift to somewhat separate markets.

One thing is clear though: At the end of the day, you’ll have one more way to spend your money.

I’m Sabri Ben-Achour for Marketplace.

About the author

Sabri Ben-Achour is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the New York City bureau. He covers Wall Street, finance, and anything New York and money related.

A ceramic monster by artist Meg Murray, who does all transactions via the Square mobile payment service. Paypal also plans to start processing payments in the real world, not just online.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...