Wearable Tech World Feature Article
March 03, 2014

PayPal May Bring a Payment System to Wearable Technology

PayPal, the online and mobile payment company originally launched (no pun intended) by Space-X and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, has never been a company to bypass an opportunity. When more Americans began carrying smartphones and looking for an easier way to pay for purchases, PayPal was quick to launch a “mobile wallet” product. Now, the company seems to have its sights set on the rising trend of wearable technology, and its solution may be just weeks away from launching.

Mobile Commerce News’ Jennifer Goula writes that PayPal appears to be aiming for an April launch of a new mobile payments app designed for smartwatches. The system that has been chosen for the app’s debut is the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo smartwatches made by Samsung. This next generation of the Samsung smartwatch is an interesting choice, since the first generation was not received by the marketplace particularly well. The Gear 2 series will have one very important difference: it will not be running Android as the original Gear models did. The new devices will run Tizen, an open source operating system that Samsung has chosen. (Intel is also running with this operating system.)

The new Gear devices, complete with the PayPal app, will allow users to not only make mobile payments, but also store rewards and redeem them, and send and receive money to and from other users of the app.

A PayPal spokeswoman told Mobile Commerce News that PayPal’s goal with the new app was to allow consumers to make payments and other transactions in a “frictionless” and seamless way, making it easier and more convenient to shop regardless of device type.  She said the company considers payment through wearable device to be a “fascinating and highly innovative way” to make consumers’ lives easier.

2014 will see a flurry of new and updated smartwatches arriving in the marketplace, along with Google’s long-awaited (and highly lampooned) wearable “smart glasses,” Google Glass. While many of the devices will serve primarily as fitness tools, others are hoping to grab market share from smartphone users who wish to send and receive messages, alerts and phone calls, control the music in their cars and even interact with their favorite wireless apps. Some of the new devices even feature GPS technology, a selling feature aimed at people worried about personal security. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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