The new features of PayPal’s smartphone app will enable people to place orders at the Japanese food chain Wagamama and some other 2,000 high street shops and restaurants ahead of arriving.
With the introduction of these two new features, PayPal could help people say goodbye to queues. The downsides are that first of all, currently the features are being only tested on a small group of people, and secondly, Order Ahead and Pay at Table will most likely be available only in US, as is the PayPal card.
Rob Harper, Head of Retail Services at PayPal UK, explained how the inclusion of the new features into the PayPal app for smartphones could make our lives easier: “The smartphone has changed our lives, and we wanted to use it to solve some of the most common frustrations about traditional ways to pay on the high street. Our new Order Ahead and Pay at Table services save busy people valuable time. Why wait for the bill when you can pay at the table with your smartphone? And why wait in a restaurant for your takeaway when you can skip the queue by choosing and ordering ahead on your phone?”
On the other hand, Tom Cheesewright, Applied Futurist for Book of The Future, explained that the high number of PayPal users could definitely make the new features of the smartphone app a great success: “Amid many moves to popularize mobile payments, the arrival of PayPal in over 2,000 high street stores stands to be the biggest boost to date. The PayPal name is already familiar and trusted. People don’t need to add a new app or account, or move money around in order to take advantage. This lack of friction combined with the big name brands adopting the technology should accelerate the understanding, and ultimately the use of mobile payments on the UK high street.”
The Pay by picture service will also be extended, in order to allow a greater number of restaurant and shop owners to identify the app users from their shop. I hope that such features will have plenty of followers to convince PayPal to implement them globally. After all, the non-US customers of this company want to benefit as well from the new functions implemented in the smartphone app.