PayPal using smartphones to trial digital payment system in Toronto restaurants

by Andrew Roach on August 29, 2013

Near field communication (NFC) has allowed us to use our smartphone to scan and pay for products without us ever needing to remove our wallets from the back pocket.

Many financial companies have now produced systems and software that can harness this technology at a moment’s notice but PayPal are now looking to take things one step further.

The Canadian branch of the firm has teamed up with app developers TouchBistro to launch a new system in restaurants across Toronto where users pay for a meal directly through their smartphone.

Users will be able to use software from TouchBistro to pay for meals through their PayPal or other financial system that is linked to a bank account. div style=”float: right”>

Once the connection has been established between a smartphone and the cashier terminal, the money will transfer wirelessly from one device to the other and pay the bill within seconds.

When the payment is complete, most of the money will go directly to the restaurant and a small portion (2-3%) will then be paid back to PayPal.

Several restaurants in the city have already agreed to trial out the software including the Jimmy’s Coffee restaurant in the King West district that had only accepted cash and debit card payments previously.

The idea is not a new concept for PayPal who have already trialled the scheme to some success in restaurants throughout the UK.

It marks a much larger belief within PayPal that using wireless technology such as NFC can improve the business relationship between businesses and their customers. This was underlined in comments made by PayPal Canada managing director Darrell MacMullin who told CBC: “The future is about data and connectivity and how do you provide value to merchants to interact with customers.”

With that in mind, PayPal have revealed that they are looking into trialling other software schemes that can help improve the entire experience for both parties such as creating a system that lets customers who booked a table to alert a restaurant when they are about to arrive and a programme that shows the picture of the paying customer to verify their identity.

Many more companies are now looking to wireless technologies such as NFC to make transactions easier and PayPal’s new
idea could be one that might catch on with other shops and other public venues across the country in the next year or two with ease.

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