Contactless payments have been a convenience we’ve enjoyed for quite some time now, but in these troubling times it has become a safety issue. If possible, it’s an essential way to pay physical retailers while coronavirus continues to ravage everyday life.
Many of us are rocking bank cards with NFC chips and benefitting from increased limits on contactless transactions. Apple and Google Pay are also even more compelling options, in order to avoid touching card readers and pin pads while doing the grocery shops.
As a consumer, handling cash at this point just seems downright irresponsible and we feel for those doing essential work at shops, who must deal with that on a daily basis.
So it’s good to see the contactless options continue to roll out. PayPal is among those boosting the touch-free wave with a QR-code based option from within its mobile app. Retailers will be able to display a QR code on a screen or a printed page and shoppers will then be able to scan that code with their smartphone camera from within the PayPal app, in order to complete the transaction.
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The feature is designed to help those small businesses – perhaps those at your local farmer’s market – who aren’t necessarily set up to handle other forms of contactless payment yet.
The feature is rolling out in the UK and 27 other countries from today, including the US, Canada, France, Italy and Germany. The firm says it is initially waiving transaction fees for sellers in order to help get the feature off the ground.
“We know that in the current environment, buying and selling goods in a health-conscious, safe and secure way is front of mind for many people around the world. As the coronavirus situation has evolved, we have seen a surge in demand for digital payments to transition to include new in-person environments and situations,” said John Kunze, who is the Senior Vice President of Branded Experiences, PayPal.
“The rollout of QR codes for buyers and sellers not only incorporates the safety, security and convenience of using PayPal in-person, but also takes into consideration ongoing social distancing requirements, even as we start to see some restrictions be lifted around the world.”