PayPal Pilots New Mobile Shopping Experience in Singapore Subways
By Ina Steiner
PayPal is testing a new mobile shopping experience called "Shop and Pay On-the-Go" in Singapore's subway stations. The program allows shoppers to purchase items advertised on billboards and posters by scanning QR codes with their smartphones, paying with PayPal, and then either picking the items up in stores or having them delivered.
The concept of mobile shopping through QR codes is not new, and Discover Magazine wrote about a similar shopping program running in Korea's subway stations, but the pilot demonstrates PayPal's commitment to mobile payments. Both PayPal and its parent company eBay are investing heavily in mobile commerce, and PayPal doubled its mobile predictions for 2012 in January to $7 billion.
SMRT Media is the transit system's ad firm in Singapore, and in October, it launched iMobSMRT, the country's "first dedicated Mobile Interactivity Space" in the public transport network. According to its website, "Commuters can download great deals or access the latest news simply by interacting with Near Field Communication (NFC) tags or Quick Response (QR) codes via their smartphones or NFC-enabled phones."
PayPal is working with eight leading merchants as part of a Valentine's Day promotion to test the "Shop and Pay On-the-Go" program, which is now live across 15 of the subway stations.
The Managing Director of PayPal Southeast Asia & India Elias Ghanem said, "The beauty of this mobile transaction is that no additional infrastructure is required for merchants, retailers and consumers. In a mobile-centric society like Singapore, smartphone penetration reached 70% last year, and a recent study we conducted revealed that nearly 7 out of 10 Singaporeans were likely to make a transaction on their mobile phone."
PayPal is also testing point-of-sale technology in the U.S. in an pilot program with The Home Depot home-improvement chain.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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