PayPal has launched its new Check In mobile payment service in London Richmond, listing it as a key area in its ongoing bid to increase UK wireless transaction levels.
The Check In service will initially launch in 12 Richmond high street premises including cafes, restaurants, shops, a hotel and a fish and chip shop. The service is available via iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps. It works in a similar way to Visa's V.me digital wallet, but adds additional facial recognition security and store-tracking features.
When activated the app highlights nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal payments. It then asks the the user to check in to the shop by clicking on its icon. Once checked in, the user's name and photo appears on the shop's payment system, letting the cashier check the person making the payment is the account's owner.
PayPal head of retail services Rob Harper listed Check In as a key step in the company's ongoing bid to boost mobile payments levels in the UK.
"PayPal first brought ‘pay by mobile' to the UK high street two years ago. Through our Richmond initiative, we're pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don't have enough cash on them to pay. 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," he said.
"This is another step on the journey towards a walletless high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their phone or tablet. We predict that by 2016 this will become a reality. Our Richmond initiative shows that innovation is alive and well on the British high street."
Check In's added security features are also expected to be a key seller for the service. Mobile and wireless payments security protocols have been an ongoing concern for British end users. Most recently Visa issued a statement promising that mobile payments are just as secure as their chip and pin equivalents.
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