PayPal trials mobile wallet at Home Depot stores
PayPal confirmed reports it is trialing new mobile wallet services at select Home Depot stores, enabling consumers to pay for items at checkout via mobile device or a special PayPal card.
eBay-owned PayPal first revealed its brick-and-mortar payment plans in September, promising to introduce digital commerce solutions optimized across all devices, not just mobile phones, and encompassing funding options including cash, credit and installments. In addition to mobile and point-of-sale payments, PayPal will roll out geo-targeted mobile advertising campaigns, barcode scanning tools, real-time inventory data and a virtual wallet concept.
"Home Depot is the first retailer to roll out a limited pilot program for our new POS technologies," writes PayPal director of communications Anuj Nayar on the PayPal Blog. "We frequently run trials with our retail partners. The Home Depot pilot is currently being run in five stores and involves a small number of PayPal employees."
PayPal boasts more than 104 million active users in 190 countries, with more than 8 million merchant partners. PayPal handled more than $3.5 billion in mobile payments in 2011.
"We believe a full Home Depot rollout would increase PayPal's addressable market by more than 35 percent overnight," wrote Wedbush analyst Gil Luria in a note to investors on Friday. "Although penetration would start at zero, we believe that by adding value to consumers and merchants, PayPal may eventually approach penetration rates comparable to its online presence."
PayPal's expansion into new markets coincides with its search for new leadership: Last week, PayPal president Scott Thompson was named CEO of Yahoo.
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