PayPal eyes slice of physical payment pie

PayPal eyes slice of physical payment pie
Screengrab of the Perx app that will allow Salad Stop! customers to order and pay in advance.

SINGAPORE - Online payment giant PayPal is taking a third crack at Singapore's brick-and-mortar business, hoping that its partnership with a salad restaurant and a digital loyalty card firm will open up new revenue streams.

From next month, customers at Salad Stop!'s Capital Tower outlet can use the loyalty-card app Perx on their smartphones to order and pay for meals, via PayPal or credit cards, in advance. There will be a separate queue for those picking up their pre-ordered meals. Customers just need to show their purchase confirmation e-mail.

By the first quarter of next year, the chain's remaining 12 outlets - which are mostly in the Central Business District - will come on board, Mr Adrien Desbaillets, Salad Stop! co-founder, told The Straits Times.

This is PayPal's third foray into the brick-and-mortar payment business, as it tries to cut itself a slice of the pie.

PayPal has estimated the global offline market to be 10 times bigger than the US$1 trillion (S$1.3 trillion) e-commerce world. In Singapore, e-commerce spending has been topping $1 billion yearly.

The advantage of using PayPal, which posted US$5.6 billion in revenue last year, is that consumers do not need to enter credit card details for every purchase, making it more convenient.

Last February, the US-based company, a subsidiary of auction site eBay, worked with train operator SMRT to allow commuters to buy goods at a discount when they responded to certain advertisements at 15 train stations.

Commuters had to first download a PayPal app to scan a QR code on the advertisement to get the discount. Payment was made through the app using PayPal. The project was discontinued after two months.

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