PayPal has recently given a glimpse of the way it sees future in-store payments taking place with a new PayPal Wallet, which it hopes will replace all your existing debit and credit cards cluttering up your wallet.
The new PayPal Wallet system - which it plans to roll out in the next 12 months - will allow payments to be made from multiple accounts, whether that be other credit, debit or store cards; and although gives a nod to NFC - apparently it's been future-proofed - is not reliant on it.
So the PayPal Wallet will enable you to pay for goods using an app on your phone (which won't need to be NFC-capable) or, perhaps more interestingly for a company so far dedicated to online, using the PayPal offline real-world credit/debit card which will be linked to multiple cards on your PayPal account.
The fact that the system is not NFC means that it could get an essential early boost in take up as retailers don't need to invest in any hardware upgrade; all that's needed is a software update to their existing terminals.
The killer feature, however, is that PayPal will allow customers to change the method of payment after they've paid at the shop. For instance: after you've made your purchase, possibly choosing a credit card, once home you can go onto you PayPal account and change the specific transaction to your debit card - for which they'll be no charge.
This system of payment could be of huge benefit, not only to your average shopper but to small online businesses who already receive payments via the PayPal service - debits and credits all being channelled through he one account.
Although there doesn't seem much info from PayPal on how much they'll charge merchants for transactions, on the face of it the system could look very attractive to both retailer and customer - a one-card-fits-all approach backed up by phone payments.