PayPal secures POS makers VeriFone, Equinox for in-store push

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PayPal’s drive to become a major player for in-store payments is getting a huge push thanks to new partnerships with VeriFone, the top point-of-sale terminal maker and Equinox Payments, the No. 3 terminal maker. The deals complement a similar agreement PayPal secured with Ingenico in January and gives PayPal access to three of the top POS systems, covering 40 million terminals worldwide. What this means is that PayPal has a smooth path to roll out its in-store payment system with retailers who can easily support PayPal’s alternative payment system across their entire chains without having to order new terminals.

VeriFone alone is a big get because it is used in about 80 percent of the top 200 big box retailers in the U.S. Equinox is also represented in three of the top ten U.S. retailers. Retailers will still need to decide to adopt Paypal for in-store payments, which involves some back-end integration work and employee training. PayPal is scheduled to hold a press event Thursday morning to announce some of the big retailers who are joining Home Depot in supporting its payment system.

VeriFone has agreed to build a modified version of its integration tool kit for PayPal so retailers can just drop in a software update to their terminals, which can now receive PayPal payments as a native payment form. The kit includes a new API and a user interface that displays PayPal’s branding. Consumers will be able to pay at the upgraded terminals with a PayPal Access pre-paid card and a PIN or with their phone number and PIN, which connects to their PayPal account. VeriFone’s MX Solutions terminals will be the first to accept PayPal payments. Equinox has also integrated PayPal’s payment system into the code base platform for all its L5300 terminals.

Getting the big terminal makers on board gives PayPal a chance to spread quickly across the country. With Home Depot, it was able to go from a small trial to more than 2,000 locations in months thanks to its Ingenico deal. That should provide a big boost in PayPal’s competition with other NFC-based payments systems such as Google Wallet, which launched a year ago, and Isis, the carrier-led payment system set to debut this summer.

“We’re not asking anyone to rip out and replace with new terminals or go city by city,” said PayPal spokesman Anuj Nayar. “Our approach is easy for merchants to implement and is incredibly simple to roll out at scale.”

Consumers will still need to adopt PayPal payment system, which is no guarantee. But PayPal has more than 110 million account holders worldwide to start with. By securing first the point of sale makers, that helps unlock retailers, giving PayPal a better shot at appealing to consumers because it will be available in a lot of stores. And because it is not NFC-based, it doesn’t rely on consumers buying an NFC-equipped phone. That is still one of the barriers for Google Wallet and Isis.

But Nayar said PayPal isn’t content to just get a new payment system into stores. It’s working on new features for its digital wallet that will allow merchants to provide more personalized offers and loyalty rewards. Those things are expected to appear more in the coming months. But for now, PayPal is showing that it can move quickly with its in-store campaign.

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