(Credit: GigaOM)


Folks, PayPal is going offline. But it’s not in the way you might think. While primarily an online payment system, PayPal is now reaching out to the offline world in partnership with Discover, so that users can pay for purchases made in brick-and-mortar stores.

PayPal’s partnership with Discover will let the millions of PayPal users make purchases from 7-million Discover-enabled stores around the U.S. While the card processor may not be as popular among consumers as MasterCard and Visa, the network reaches as many merchants as the two combined. Likewise, with 50 million users in the U.S. and 113 million worldwide, the partnership is about to give a big boost to both PayPal and Discover.

Starting April 2013, 7 million Discover merchants can accept PayPal charge cards. An even better innovation is that PayPal users could input their registered mobile number and PIN at the terminal for a purely cash-less and card-less transaction. You don’t even have to bring your wallet.

“This relationship will deliver a truly seamless digital wallet, available most places consumers shop offline, which offers the speed, simplicity and security already enjoyed by 113 million active PayPal customers online,” says Don Kingsborough, PayPal VP for retail.

This move is just in time to address a big competitor make inroads into certain establishments like coffee shops. Startup company Square has just partnered with Starbucks for handling of all credit- and debit-card based transactions. With companies going cashless and even cardless, we may soon be able to leave our wallets home when we buy stuff at brick-and-mortar stores.

J. Angelo Racoma
J. Angelo Racoma has written extensively about mobile, social media, enterprise apps and startups. Angelo develops business case studies for Microsoft enterprise platforms, and is also co-founder at WorkSmartr, a small outsourcing team that offers digital content and marketing services.