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Wednesday 20 May 2020

COVID-19 accelerates roll-out of Paypal's "touchless" payments

PaypalUS payments giant, PayPal, has introduced “touchless” QR code payment across all its major markets, including the UK. The technology enables consumers and businesses to securely make purchases and accept payments simply by scanning a QR code into a mobile device equipped with the Paypal app. For "a limited period" PayPal is also waiving its transaction fees on all sales made using a QR code, due to the impact on businesses of COVID-19.

In light of the coronavirus and the need for social distancing, Paypal’s new payment method has the potential to circumvent the need for face to face interaction between customers and retailers. QR code payment can also help shoppers avoid having to queue at a counter or touch a keypad on a payment terminal, enabling them to make payment at the point of selection, rather than at a till.

The coronavirus has had a major impact on many aspects of life and may well change the retail experience forever. Whilst the advent of this seamless payment technology was already in the pipeline, its roll-out in the midst of the pandemic, is another example of how COVID-19 is accelerating the adoption of innovative technologies and exposing the limitations of analogue approaches (see: UK Financial Services SITS “Prospects for a Post COVID-19 World”).

Posted by: Jon C Davies

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