PayPal is a step closer to moving offline.
The Internet payment service provided details on Wednesday on how it plans to handle payments in brick-and-mortar stores.
Offline payments are a big opportunity for PayPal, which is owned by eBay. But a number of companies are already making inroads, including Square, a start-up in San Francisco that is trying to replace cash registers and credit card terminals by letting consumer make purchases with their mobile phones.
PayPalâs plan is to make tools available to merchants so that they can use existing credit card terminals to accept payments through PayPal. Several payment methods will be possible, although they will ultimately depend on the kinds of terminals merchants have.
In one option, shoppers could enter their telephone number and four digit pin to make a payment from their PayPal account. In another, shoppers will be able to tap their phone on the terminal or a kiosk in the store aisle. Swiping a PayPal card is a third option.
âWeâre not here to force the technology on consumers or merchants,â said Sam Shrauger, vice president of global product and experience for PayPal. âWeâre enabling consumes to pay in ways that are comfortable for them.
A test with 20 merchants is to begin before the end of a year. A more general roll-out is expected in the spring and summer next year.
PayPal, which has more than 100 million active user accounts, would presumably get a commission on each transaction, as it does with its online service. But Mr. Shrauger declined to disclose any details.