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January 12, 2012

Home Depot Tests Accepting Paypal Payments In-Store

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

The world’s largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, will be experimenting with PayPal (News - Alert) in-stores allowing customers to pay using their PayPal cards or by their mobile devices.

PayPal, which says it’s one of the fastest, safest ways to make a payment online, is the electronic-payments division of eBay (News - Alert) Inc. eBay created the service, which allows users to send money and make transactions without having to share their personal accounts each time. Instead, a user could sign up for a PayPal account, input their personal data and from then on send money electronically through a user name.

Home Depot has decided to tap into PayPal’s 103 million active accounts and test out the payment service in some of their stores, which is the first time the e-commerce company would be stepping outside of the online market and into an actual retail store.

“PayPal has made it clear that it wants to be a player in bricks-and-mortar stores,” said George Peabody, Director of the Emerging Technology Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group Inc. “And they made it clear that thy want to play with the largest retailers.” 

Gil Luria, a Wedbush Securities analyst, said this new payment method would give shoppers an additional incentive not only to use PayPal, but also to feel safer when making payments.

PayPal isn’t the first online payment service to be making the leap into retail stores. Google (News - Alert) Inc. has already introduced their own service called Google Wallet, which allows for customers to also make payments using an online system. Google has limited the access to its wallet only allowing smaller retailers such as the Gap and Macy’s to take advantage of the service.

PayPal said it would test out the use of their service in five Home Depot stores and analyze the data from those test stores to determine if it’s a good move for both of the companies. Home Depot is the first of 20 stores working with PayPal to test the payment method in an actual store setting.

PayPal has become so intriguing to stores because of mobile shopping popularity and accessibility. PayPal has an app available for the Android, BlackBerry (News - Alert), and iOS market giving access to almost anyone with a smartphone to make online payments, which could increase the buying power of a lot of customers.

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Edited by Rich Steeves
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