Mobile World Congress is quite a show. Over 70,000 people descend on Barcelona for the annual mobile industry expo. It’s not just about handsets: it’s about everything related to connected commerce, from phones and tablets to payments and even connected cars.
For me, MWC 2013 was memorable for the huge interest in the UK version of PayPal Here, PayPal’s flexible and affordable way for small businesses to take credit card payments face to face. The PayPal Here demos were mobbed by everyone intrigued by the way PayPal had reinvented the original Here concept for countries like Britain where paying by Chip & PIN is standard. The UK version is a pocket-sized card reader that connects to a trader’s smartphone via Bluetooth.
The fun bit was having Mark and Craig from London’s Greedy Goat ice cream on the stand, serving their delicious goat’s milk ice cream. (I recommend the honeycomb flavour…) Greedy Goat is one of the businesses that have been helping PayPal design the UK flavour of PayPal Here. It trades at Borough Market, and it will be one of the first businesses to take card payments through PayPal Here in the next month or so.
Here’s the video showing Greedy Goat trying PayPal Here at Borough Market.
But there’s more to PayPal Here than just card payments. The future probably lies with something rather more 21st century than a card. PayPal is pioneering payment via ‘check-in’: a quick tap in an app to check into and pay a local business. This opens up so many possibilities for making life quicker and easier: for example, ordering your drink or lunch ready for collection, beating the queue. PayPal is pioneering ordering ahead with Jamba Juice in the United States.
Anyone interested in finding out more about PayPal Here can register their interest and get all the facts at www.paypal.co.uk/here.
Disclosure: I am head of PR for PayPal UK.