PayPal Brings Photo-Based Mobile Wallet to U.K.

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PayPal's cloud-based mobile wallet, which authenticates shoppers by presenting a photo of their face to the cashier, has arrived in the U.K.

The feature, which was earlier launched in the U.S., allows consumers to use the PayPal app to check in at a merchant's store when they arrive, a process that prompts the app to transmit the user's image to the merchant. Square Inc.'s Square Wallet has a similar feature.

In the U.K., PayPal supports this type of payment at several merchants on Richmond High Street in London.

"Now locals in Richmond can leave their wallet or purse at home and be the first in the country to use their profile picture to pay," Rob Harper, head of retail services at PayPal, says in an Aug. 8 blog post.

An earlier test of this payment system in the U.S. had mixed results. At the New York Film Festival last year, PayPal and its partner ShopKeep POS expected thousands of payments but got hundreds.

Nevertheless, those who used the photo-based payment feature were enthusiastic about the process.

"People loved it; cashiers loved it, and people who used it used it multiple times," Jason Richelson, CEO and founder of ShopKeep POS, said in an interview after the September event. "We definitely had a lot of fun with it."

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