June 1 - Mobile payments have been slow to take off in the UK, but the electronic payments company PayPal is just one of the names that sees great potential. Matt Cowan reports.
Dialling up a deal, in store. PayPal - the e-commerce business best known for its online payments service - is branching out into mobile payments. A week after announcing partnerships with 15 new retailers in the U.S. for its mobile payments application, it's bringing the technology to the UK as part of a deal with Aurora Fashions. PayPal has 15 million users in Britain and they can now shop at the stores Coast, Oasis, Warehouse and Karen Millen using a smartphone. Cameron McLean is the Managing Director for PayPal in the UK. SOUNDBITE: Cameron McLean, PayPal UK Managing Director saying (English): "So our customers are clearly telling us that they see the opportunity to shop in store. In the UK, we've got over 50 percent of penetration and they're actually asking us to bring the PayPal experience to the high street." Visa is backing another mobile payments app called Simply Tap. SOUNDBITE: Peter Ayliffe, Visa Europe CEO speaking in April 2012, saying (English): "This paper stuff, if I really don't want to use it I can chuck it away. I do not need paper any more. Fifty years ago we designed these pieces of plastic and we've all carried these around in our wallets. Just a whole load of stuff in the wallets. But frankly, that will be embedded in the mobile phone. But we don't need that anymore either." The Mobile Money Network which created the Simply Tap app says it aims to turn the mobile into an instant checkout...allowing people to shop using their mobiles whether or not they're in a store. Partners such as music retailer HMV and clothing retailer Thomas Pink are using the service to develop a multichannel offering says MD John Milliken. SOUNDBITE: John Milliken, Mobile Money Network Managing Director managing director. "Ranging from social commerce to billboards, magazine adverts to in store and all of those experiences are already live." The young company has one of UK retail's most respected figures serving as its non-executive chairman, former Marks & Spencer CEO Sir Stuart Rose. SOUNDBITE: Stuart Rose, Mobile Money Network Non-Executive Chairman saying (English) "The scale of the opportunity is huge and if you go back and ask yourself what the scale of the opportunity was for the internet 15 years ago, some people didn't get it and look at it today. No sensible retailer of any goods or services is not going to have some sort of website and if you believe the stats that are coming out from research, whether its from Google or others they will tell you that 50 percent of all transactions will involve some sort of tablet or other in the next 10 or 15 years. Well, that's scary." The promise of mobile money has been talked about for quite some time now...so is that vision finally poised to become reality? Luke Peters is the editor of the technology magazine T3. REPORTER SAYS "It seems like there's a proliferation of mobile payment systems." SOUNDBITE: Luke Peters, T3 Editor saying (English): "Everyone seems to be trying to do their own thing and I think that is the problem. You don't want to be going to a different shop and thinking about what app you're going to use. You want one standard system and I think that's years away." So while it may be increasingly fashionable to promote mobile payments, it's less clear this new way to pay will help drive sufficient commerce to keep the momentum going. Matt Cowan, Reuters.