PayPal's plans to extend its payments business inside of stores includes technology that attempts to reduce the need for customers to wait in line at the cash register.
"By ordering ahead using a mobile device, a consumer can save time at a busy store," says Brian Brodigan, vice president and general manager of SMB (small and medium business) retail for PayPal, which this week announced an integration with Revel Systems that will allow shoppers to make payments ahead of their visit to the store.
Revel's iPad-based payments system is deployed at about 5,000 locations at companies of various sizes, including Goodwill, Belkin and Popeye's. PayPal plans to gradually integrate with Revel's customers through early next year, Brodigan says.
"As we enable PayPal payments at store locations, we will need a broad footprint of accepting merchants," Brodigan says. PayPal's biggest push to involve more merchants is based on a partnership with Discover.
PayPal didn't disclose which merchants will first use the integrated PayPal/Revel technology, though Brodigan says a number of merchants will launch shortly in the San Francisco area.
"Merchants will be able to expand their store operations" with the combined PayPal/Revel offering, Brodigan says. "We can bring them customers that don't have time to wait in line. The stores can extend their lunchtime operations, for example."
Revel, which has also partnered with companies such as SumUp, hopes the PayPal integration will widen its own consumer base, says Chris Ciabarra, chief technology officer and co-founder of Revel Systems.
Revel provides an iPad-based payment system to merchants with yearly revenue of $300,000 and up, whereas many other mobile payments vendors target smaller merchants, Ciabarra says.
The integration is a "big win" for both Revel and PayPal, says Jordan McKee, an analyst at Yankee Group.
"PayPal, of course, will enjoy increased access to physical-world merchants and additional processing revenues," McKee says.
Mobile point of sale vendors are wise to integrate alternative payments offerings like PayPal and LevelUp, McKee says.
"Vendors like Square with "walled-garden" approaches may have to reconsider as this trend becomes more prevalent," McKee says.