PayPal increased its presence in Australian bars, cafes and restaurants today by securing agreements with hospitality technology companies EatNow, OrderMate and Beat the Q.

PayPal's plans boost the online payment service's goal of expanding at brick-and-mortar retail locations, while also making a move to combat Visa and MasterCard.

This month, Visa announced plans to bring the digital wallet to Australia before the Christmas holiday season. MasterCard launched its MasterPass digital wallet in Australia this year.

"PayPal is already strong in the e-commerce game, but needs to create awareness and build a retail brand," says Richard Oglesby, senior analyst and mobile pay expert with Boston-based Aite Group.

The new partnerships in Australia create a strong play in that direction for PayPal, while also making sure the card brands don't cut too deeply into its e-commerce market, Oglesby says.

Australia's interchange regulations make it favorable for mobile payment initiatives, Oglesby adds.

"It helps the non-NFC payment options because the magnitude of the payments costs is much lower," Oglesby says. PayPal supports Near Field Communication on some phones, but its digital wallet is largely software-based. Visa's and MasterCard's MasterPass are focused online.

"As we continue to work in collaboration with other leading entrepreneurs and innovators of all sizes, PayPal's mobile application will increasingly be seen as a destination for consumers to browse local businesses, order ahead and transact at point of sale," Hill Ferguson, PayPal's vice president of global product, states in a press release.

PayPal differentiates itself from competitors through "our maniacal focus on creating consumer solutions that harness the power of connected networks," Ferguson adds.

The retail stores will add PayPal software to their existing point of sale systems, allowing customers to "check in" at merchant locations through the PayPal app.

With the new agreements, PayPal estimates that more than 90,000 Australian merchants accept its payment service online, offline and via mobile devices.

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