Apple updated its online store to finally accept PayPal as a payment method on top of credit and debit cards.
This change applies to the online Apple Store in both the US and the United Kingdom. PayPal was actually already a payment option in the iTunes Store, but this is the first that we’re seeing PayPal being offered in the Apple Store itself.
PayPal’s relationship with Apple over the years has been somewhat neutral, with the only tension being PayPal criticizing Apple’s security a couple months ago ahead of the iPhone 6 launch. However, the two companies have kept to their own corners in the boxing ring for the most part.
In fact, Apple was PayPal’s first partner when the payment platform launched its own digital gift card store, where it first sold iTunes gift cards. Called PayPal Digital Gifts, the store aims to be a go-to portal for buying gift cards and other digital gifts that you can email to others, and since it’s through PayPal, the company is making it really easy to buy digital gifts using your PayPal account.
The storefront doesn’t have every single store in existence, but it does have one significant partner, and that’s Apple. By visiting PayPal Digital Gifts, you’ll see a small selection of iTunes gift cards that you can buy for yourself or for other people, and it comes in $25, $50 and $100 denominations.
In any case, the addition of more payment options in the online Apple Store is certainly a good thing for consumers, as it could boost sales for the company. Previously, shoppers were only able to use a credit or debit card to pay for items, or apply for special financing.
This most likely limited the audience for those who wanted to shop online, but now that PayPal is supported, more and more shoppers could take advantage of buying new Apple products online instead of having to go to a physical location.
PayPal has evolved over the last few years, coming out with its own mobile payment platform known as PayPal Here, which allows users to accept credit card payments on their mobile devices. The company also unveiled PayPal Beacon last year, which provides completely hands-free payments over Bluetooth.
Using PayPal Beacon, stores will be able to set it up at their cash registers and customers will be able to buy something without even pulling their phone out of their pocket.
PayPal users will be able to decide which stores are added to a safe list for automatic payments and which stores should require approval before you buy something. With automatic payments, customers will be able to go into a store, pick out something they want to buy, and pay for it without getting out your wallet or your phone. It’s almost like saying a magic word, and then all of a sudden you bought it and it’s yours.
When you walk into a Beacon-enabled store, you’ll get a notification confirming that you’ve successfully checked in. This will also send a signal to the sales associates in the store notifying them that you have arrived, allowing them to come to you with any assistance right away — another feature of PayPal’s Beacon technology.
From there, you can browse the store and pick up items that you need. When you’re done, you can let the associates know and they’ll virtually ring you up. PayPal hasn’t detailed exactly what the checkout process will be like — only saying that customers won’t have to do anything at all when paying for merchandise. The Beacon uses low-power Bluetooth, so you have to be somewhat near the device when you checkout, depending on where it’s located in the store.