January 12, 2012

A new partnership with payment solution provider AJB Software Design is helping PayPal expand beyond its extensive online presence and into an offline environment. Together, the companies will offer point-of-sale application programming interfaces that will allow shoppers to make PayPal payments at U.S. retail stores that use AJB payment technology. (Currently, that's about 140 customers with 250,000 POS terminals.)

AJB is building a PayPal interface for its Retail Transaction Switch (RTS) platform that AJB customers are already using. Once the interface is complete, shoppers will be able to pay for merchandise at the merchants' existing POS terminals by entering the mobile phone number and PIN associated with their PayPal account. Additionally, customers will be able to swipe a PayPal card for payment and to redeem coupons, gift cards or rewards associated with their accounts.

Anuj Nayar, PayPal's director of communications, says that this new project is a simple way to bring the digital wallet into the physical retail environment. "There's a lot of buzz right now in the industry about the digital wallet," says Anuj Nayar, PayPal's director of communications. "PayPal has had a digital wallet for 13 years. It just lives up in the cloud and can be accessed from any device. Deals like this allow us to jumpstart the adoption of these technologies with a very easy integration."

What makes PayPal's digital wallet so easy to deploy is that it does not require a change in technology from a merchant infrastructure perspective, says Pat Polillo, vice president of sales at AJB. "When you're looking at retailers who have got hundreds of thousands of stores, [replacing payment infrastructure] is a costly endeavor," he explains. "The nice thing about the PayPal wallet is that it uses technology that is already in the stores being used for the acceptance of a credit or debit card. Merchants can deploy this much faster than any of the other digital wallets that are on the market."

This news follows a recent announcement that PayPal is rolling out a small pilot of its POS technology with retailer Home Depot. Nayar says that its partnerships with both Home Depot and AJB are the start of a larger initiative that PayPal is undergoing to expand its relationships in the offline retail environment and beyond, and to expect similar announcements down the road.

In addition to merchants and payment technology providers, PayPal stresses that it looks to expand upon its relationships with banks. "We think there's a massive opportunity for financial institutions to work with PayPal," says Nayar. "We actually have an entire group dedicated to working with financial institutions in order to develop new ways to connect with their customers via PayPal."

[Click here to read more about how PayPal is expanding its partnerships with banks, merchants and vendors.]

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