PayPal Testing New Checkout Processes, Expands 'Beacon'

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PayPal plans to deploy a checkout system that contains the payment entirely within the merchant's website, one of several payments technology initiatives underway in at eBay's payments subsidiary.

PayPal is testing the new checkout system with a "handful of partners" and will make it more widely available to larger merchants during the first half of 2014, with a rollout for smaller merchants also in the works, says Don Kingsborough, vice president of retail services for PayPal, in a Jan. 13 blog post.

Kingsborough also discussed the advancement of shorter payment authentication codes and the testing of PayPal Beacon, a system that uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to enable content transfers and payments to be handled at long range within stores

To use the new checkout system, merchants will need to do a single integration to access the same checkout experience on a computer, tablet or smartphone, Kingsborough says.

Later this year, merchants will also be able to do a single integration to get Log In with PayPal functionality as part of the new online checkout experience. Log In with PayPal will enable consumers to log into a merchant's website with PayPal instead of creating another username and password. "Merchants get to know their customers better and consumers get a much easier checkout experience when shopping on a merchant's site," Kingsborough said in his blog.

Similar services from and Facebook take aim at the cumbersome process of signing up for new websites before being able to use and pay for their services.

PayPal also says it is making progress on its work with Micros and Discover to make four-digit short codes or QR codes available to merchants to accept payments. Starting in February, Micros and Discover merchants will be able to upgrade software in their current point of sale terminals to accept payments from consumers who want to pay with PayPal using a smartphone or a PIN pad to scan a QR code or enter a four-digit short code, Kingsborough says.

PayPal is also testing PayPal Beacon at a few merchant locations in the U.S. and Australia, and plans to start testing in the U.K., Canada, France and Germany. "We're hard at work integrating Beacon into the PayPal app, and we expect to complete that work early in 2014, at which point we will be excited to begin making this next-generation shopping experience available to consumers," Kingsborough says in the blog post.

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