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Buy a coffee with your Smart Watch!

paypal-samsungMobile commerce is all about making things easier and more convenient for customers.

Payment is often seen as a difficult step in commerce, so in recent years a lot of effort has been going into finding new and better ways to allow customers to pay.

Now PayPal and Starbucks are piloting a new payment scheme that may be the easiest ever, and it is based around the new Gear 2 smartwatch from Samsung.

The transaction is very simple from the customer’s perspective, and consists of the following steps:

  1. When a customer wearing the smartwatch enters the store, a BLE beacon detects the watch, and thereby knows the identity of the customer.
  2. A push notification is sent to the customer’s watch, and at the same time, the customer’s name and picture are displayed on the barista’s POS screen.
  3. The barista takes the order, makes the coffee, and enters the information into the POS system as normal.
  4. A notification is then sent to the customer’s smartwatch requesting payment.
  5. The customer simply taps on their smartwatch to confirm payment, picks up their coffee and is free to enjoy their day.

Notice that this transaction did not require a wallet, a card, any cash, or even the need to remove a mobile phone from your pocket. And there is added security because the barista sees an image of the person that is authorized to use that specific device for payment.

The pilot is taking place within the Starbucks store on the PayPal campus in San Jose, California, so clearly it is a very pilot-friendly location. However, it is good to see companies trying out new approaches to payments.

PayPal has not indicated any time frame when this might be rolled out to the world in general, but PayPal senior PR manager Kathy Chui has said that “overall, PayPal employees that have used Beacon and/or Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch have loved their experience and are excited for the larger rollout.”

26.05.2014    Tags: ,
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