PayPal adds support for NFC peer-to-peer payments

PayPal adds support for NFC peer-to-peer payments

Summary: Pay back the money you owe your friend -- directly. PayPal will begin supporting peer-to-peer payments to allow its customers to pay each other using two smartphones.


Owe your buddy $5? PayPal hopes next time you pay him back you'll do so by "bumping" your smartphone with his.

The eBay-owned financial services company on Wednesday announced that it will begin supporting peer-to-peer payments to allow its customers to pay each other directly.

The scheme uses near-field communications, or NFC, technology to allow a device to transfer payment directly to another. Think of it like a digital check that's cashed seconds after you create it.

The company demonstrated its new NFC-enabled widget for Google Android smartphones this morning at the event by "bumping" two Samsung Nexus S handsets together.

The company says it will roll out the feature "late this summer."

PayPal said it's been evaluating NFC tech for a while. As I've written before, it's just another arrow in the company's growing quiver of ways to pay for things digitally, helping fulfill its goal of being a part of every digital transaction.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Banking

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Yikes!!!

    No thanks!!!

    "Must have the number of the beast to buy or sell" comes to mind. Times are scary.
    • Really?

      What's the difference between this and a credit card? No one is going to make you use NFC and it's not a chip implanted surgically. It's just one more option for commerce. I don't see options as a bad thing. Do you?
    • RE: PayPal adds support for NFC peer-to-peer payments

      @techboy_z I guess I'm not sure what the problem is, techboy. Doesn't seem that much different than other payment methods.

      It's not the devil. It's no more or less secure than any other commerce in this day and age. Sure, you have to be cautious, but if you're not already being cautious with your credit cards, online purchases, and bills in the mail, you're probably living in a cave anyway.

      Plus, what the article fails to mention is Europe and Japan have been using NFC (and mobile payment) for many years already. It's not like it's a new technology. In fact mobile payments are predicted to reach well over half-a-billion dollars in the next couple of years.
  • RE: PayPal adds support for NFC peer-to-peer payments

    Yes! Five bucks with a 20% service charge plus $7.50

    Go for it!!
  • Zing goes the Zong

    Why is eBay buying Zong? So that we can all have our purchases itemized on our phone bills? (Telcos are now in the banking business or are they all now licensed providers of credit?) Have you ever tried to make sense of a modern phone bill? Give me a break; I?ll keep my purchases itemized on my bankcard or banking account statements, thanks.

    ?Zong charges merchants more than PayPal for a comparable transaction. PayPal transactions carry a fixed fee of 30 cents in addition to 2 to 3 percent of the purchase. Merchants who use Zong receive between 70 and 92 percent of the purchase amount, said Brooke Hammerling, a Zong spokeswoman.?

    What? Zong (and the telco) takes a commission of between 8 and 30 percent? Would you mind passing that past me again please, I think I mis-heard it the first time ?

    eBay: Magento, AliExpress, Skype, Fish, FigCard, GSI Commerce, RedLaser, Where, Milo, Fetch, Zong, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Google, Schmoogle, whatever ?

    eBay?s chief headless turkey likes buying toys, none of which have done anything, relatively speaking, to materially improve the eBay Marketplace?s bottom line, not even in this the fourth year of this turkey?s three-year turnaround plan to change eBay from what made it so successful into, who knows what?

    The fact is the rusting old hulk eBay is presently being kept afloat by the clunky PreyPal so it?s good to see these financial services boys recently squabbling and threats to PreyPal now coming thick and fast. It?s interesting times for all we eBay ?haters? (oops, I mean ?watchers?). I just hope that someone has remembered to bring the popcorn.

    Even though PayPal clearly offers banking-type services (ie, holding depositors? money in banking-style accounts), PayPal is mostly registered in various places not as a ?bank? nor as a provider of credit but only as a ?money transmitter? (like Western Union), and indeed PayPal claims that they are not even a ?payment network?, and there is a minute degree of truth in that claim because it could, somewhat nonsensically, be claimed that most (but not all) of their activities do no more than facilitate the transmission of money by riding on the back of the banks? existing payments processing systems.

    In fact, the only thing creative about PayPal has been their founding use of users? email addresses as an identifier for online payment transactions. PayPal is otherwise no more than a blood-sucking parasite on the back of, and in the main cannot function except via, the banks? existing payments processing systems.

    PayPal, outside of whatever will ultimately be left of the Donahoe-devastated eBay Marketplace, will undoubtedly eventually be consigned to the history books by the retail banks/Visa/Mastercard once those players get their ?online? act together.

    Some people may not like ?the banks? but all those participating retail banks at least supply a professional payments processing system and even PayPal concurs with that assessment: except for any intra PayPal ?deposit account? transactions, they use the banks? payments processing systems all the time and simply could not exist without them.

    Regardless, all the above comments apply equally to all of the other third-party online ?payments processors? that are emerging out of the woodwork and wanting to have access to your banking account. Unless they have formal and direct arrangements with all the participating retail banks, as do the likes of Visa/MasterCard, then the result is invariably going to be as potentially problematic as is PayPal?s clunky operation for its PayPal merchants?a great many of whom can tell you a sorry tale or two.

    All anyone needs to know about the clunky PayPal, at:

    What all buyers should know about the criminal activities of eBay, at:

    Is that PayPal?s blood in the water, and are those ?sharks??oops, ?banks??I can see still circling?

    Enron / eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking.
    Philip Cohen