PayPal Check-in is coming to stores across the UK this summer, giving shoppers the opportunity to pay for food, drink and products automatically, without having to take your money or phone out of your pocket.
The feature was announced by the digital wallet company last year when it partnered with cloud point of sale company ERPLY, but it's taken a while to get retail partners on board in the UK. You can already find the functionality on the PayPal application on your iPhone or Android smartphone, but it's not likely you'll discover many shops in which to use it.
What it does is allow you to "check-in" when you enter a participating store by swiping a pin on the retailer's web page. The shop then registers that you are a PayPal customer and that you are on the premises. Your photo will appear with your account on its system and you will be able to pay for your goods without having to show them the phone. Also, as it's your face on the account, you don't need any further ID.
One example given to Pocket-lint by PayPal's Rob Skinner was that you could go into a PayPal partner coffee shop, check in through the application and then order your mocha choca latte, or whathaveyou, a sandwich and anything else you fancy, tell the assistant you want to pay by PayPal and that's it. On its part the shop will see your face as an icon on its in-store screen, tap it and the funds are instantly transferred from your PayPal account.
PayPal is initially targeting small businesses and independent retailers with the Check-in system, as it is PayPal Here, its own chip-and-pin trader payment platform. It will announce who has signed up around June time.
Another new technology soon to come to the UK in force, we were told, is PayPal Order Ahead. You will be able to order your food or drink from participating retailers from the PayPal app before you leave your home or office and it will be waiting there, made and paid for, when you arrive.
As Skinner told us, it's a big year ahead for PayPal.