Category: Mobile Payments

Mobile payment partnership forms between PayPal and Citigroup

The two companies have decided to work together to make it easier for consumers to use smartphones in-store.

PayPal Holdings Inc. has entered into a new mobile payment partnership with Citigroup Inc. The goal is to let customers easily use smartphones to pay for products and services at a checkout counter.

The agreement between the two companies will not impact PayPal’s main e-commerce business.

The PayPal online payments and peer-to-peer transactions will not be connected with the new mobile payment partnership. Instead, it will open up a new direction for the company to be able to participate in smartphone transactions. It offers the ability to carry out transactions with in-store purchases.

Mobile Payments Partnership - Business PartnershipThis new agreement has raised certain questions about PayPal’s growth strategy. Some have questioned whether or not it has the potential to bring this business to a size that would rise above the lost fees.

PayPal’s CEO assures critics that the mobile payment partnership has taken this into account.

PayPal is offering deals to credit card issuers in order to provide incentives for using their new in-store mobile payments, said CEO Daniel Schulman. The company’s head of global core payments, Jim Magats, said “We talked about giving customers flexibility to pay how they want, and now we are rolling out new experiences.”

Citigroup and Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) will begin allowing customers to lead their credit cards into PayPal accounts. This will make it possible for point-of-sale mobile swipe technology. As Citigroup currently boasts 143 million customer accounts, this presents a considerable opportunity.

The idea is to “enable banking in the palm of our customers’ hands,” said Ralph Andretta, Citigroup card exec.

PayPal is also working with two smaller banks as a part of this mobile payment partnership through FIS. They include Wintrust Financial Corp. and Avidia Bank. This agreement is only the latest in a growing race among banks and credit card issuers to take hold of the mobile wallet market that has yet to move into mainstream use in the United States. Other massive participants include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. as well as tech giants such as Google, Samsung and Apple.

Starbucks QR code payments make their way to China

The coffee chain giant will now be accepting WeChat smartphone transactions to pay for purchases.

The Starbucks QR code based payments are now being accepted in Chinese locations. The coffee chain announced that WeChat users will now be able to pay for their food and beverage purchases with the mobile app’s Weixin Pay.

The initial introduction of the QR codes will include around 2,500 of the company’s Chinese cafes.

To use the Starbucks QR code, customers must simply scan the code at the checkout counter. This is completed through Weixin Pay. The mobile payments technology makes it possible to carry out the entire transaction over the smartphone.

Starbucks QR Code - Starbucks CoffeeCustomers will be using mobile payments at Starbucks as a result of a new agreement between the café and Tencent Holidings Ltd. This makes the coffee chain only the latest fast food company to offer Chinese consumers a mobile wallet payment option.

The Starbucks QR code has already proven to be very popular in other countries including the United States.

In China, mobile payments are becoming increasingly commonplace. Disney, KFC and Uniqlo already offer m-payment opportunities in their Chinese locations.

At the moment, there are approximately 200 million Chinese consumers using Weixin Pay and Alipay – Weixin’s rival owned by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. Consumers have embraced the technology due to the checkout speed it offers in-store.

That said, as popular as mobile payments are becoming in China, many foreign retailers are hesitant to introduce them. The main worry is regarding a customer privacy breach through the data collected during the transaction.

According to China Market Research Group managing director Shaun Rein, “Accepting mobile payment would unlock massive value for Starbucks.” He also added that “Since they couldn’t move customers through the line faster, they were losing 5 to 10 percent of business.”

The Starbucks QR code will provide precisely that opportunity. Customers can step up to the counter, order their beverage and scan the quick response code to verify and complete the transaction. This will also help to boost its strength in the competition with its top rival Costa Coffee. That company has been accepting mobile payments for more than a year.