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PayPal expands mobile wallet to 15 new national retailers

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PayPal is rolling out consumer trials of its fledgling mobile wallet service to 15 new nationwide retail chains: Abercrombie & Fitch, Advance Auto Parts, Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, Guitar Center, Jamba Juice, JC Penney, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Nine West, Office Depot, Rooms to Go, Tiger Direct and Toys "R" Us.

PayPal also announced agreements with point-of-sale terminal manufacturers VeriFone and Equinox to integrate PayPal transaction functionality into their payment hardware. PayPal previously inked a similar deal with POS terminal maker Ingenico, and now has access to close to 40 million payment terminals worldwide.

eBay-owned PayPal first revealed plans to extend its digital payment platform to the brick-and-mortar segment last year, stating it would introduce mobile commerce solutions that leverage consumers' existing PayPal accounts across smartphones and other devices. The service integrates directly with retailers' existing point-of-sale technology and does not require software upgrades or support for Near Field Communications contactless technologies. In addition to payment processing, PayPal also is integrating geo-targeted mobile advertising campaigns, barcode scanning tools and real-time inventory data.

PayPal first launched mobile wallet consumer trials in early 2012 across about 50 Home Depot stores, most in the San Francisco region. Within weeks PayPal announced plans to expand the initiative to all 2,200 Home Depot locations in the U.S.

Beyond the new deals with national retailers, PayPal announced it will team with point-of-sale software firms Leapset, ShopKeep, Vend and Erply to extend the mobile wallet to thousands of "mid-market" businesses across the U.S. "This includes businesses with multiple retail locations as well as those that might only have a few store locations but possess more sophisticated payment and inventory management systems," PayPal President David Marcus writes on the company's blog. "There are literally millions of these mid-market businesses out there and they represent about one third of the U.S. economy. Most of them already have some form of point-of-sale system in place."

PayPal boasts more than 104 million active users in 190 countries, with more than 8 million merchant partners. PayPal handled more than $4 billion in mobile payments in 2011--the company is expected to top $7 billion in mobile payment volume this year, according to eBay CEO John Donahoe.

In addition to the mobile wallet service, PayPal is expanding into m-commerce via PayPal Here, which enables small businesses and other users to process credit and debit transactions by swiping the card through a small, triangle-shaped dongle that attaches to their smartphone or tablet. PayPal Here went live in mid-March 2012, and more than 200,000 merchants signed up for the service within its first month of availability.

For more:
- read this PayPal Blog entry

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