mobile paymentsPayPal is leading consumers and merchants into a ‘digital wallet’ universe and extending their lead with announcing partnerships with NCR and Discover.  PayPal has 15 years of dominating online purchases but even more impressive is that they processed over $14 billion in mobile payments 2012.  With the introduction of PayPal Here, they are chipping away at the major credit card companies on the payment processing side of the business and now seamlessly moving to eliminate the fixed-point, card-based transactions and the need to carry a credit card or even cash. 

The PayPal Here mobile card reader is becoming the preferred mobile payment solution for small businesses since the small card reader can be plugged into any tablet or smartphone’s ear bud jack without clunky cords or POS equipment. The mobile card readers are a great solution for customers still wanting to carry around credit cards but the real move is to have the PayPal app on all smartphones virtually eliminating the need to have a physical credit card. PayPal users can already pay at a few thousand stores through their PayPal app by keying in their mobile phone number and pin at the point-of-sale but the Discover partnership announced this week will move that number to 2 million brand name retail locations by the end of 2013.

Combining payment transaction data with mobile data will allow consumers to get more information on their consumers and tie in offers through the PayPal app. Imagine driving by your favorite athletic shoe store and getting a notification on your smartphone that says “76 degrees this Saturday, great day for a run. New line of Nike running shoes just arrived in your size, 10 ½, black or red. Buy in the next 45 minutes & get 10% off”.  That’s pretty smart mobile data used at the right time and personalized to you.

It comes as no surprise that PayPal is bulking up on mobile data talent with 64 US job postings requiring mobile data experience. Job titles include Principal Analytics Platform Analyst, Data Engineer, Director of Analytics and Manager Software Development all requiring mobile data and analytics experience. Mobile Data jobs industry-wide are up 200% in the last 12 months so it’s obvious that companies are preparing for the shift to Mobile Big Data.

(image: mobile payments / shutterstock)