Editor’s note: The following is a guest post by Michael Essany.
In early January, PayPal and Home Depot confirmed the rumored and formally heralded their powerhouse partnership.
Today, they are confirming the program’s rapid and dramatic expansion.
“We believe PayPal’s solution has the potential to improve the checkout experience as we know it today by making it fast, secure and more convenient for the customer while providing savings for Home Depot,” said Dwaine Kimmet, Home Depot’s treasurer and VP of financial services.
Going Big And Going ‘Home’
Despite having been initially presented as a trial program for select Home Depot stores, PayPal now says its new mobile wallet service will be deployed at all of Home Depot’s 2,200 stores across the United States within the next 60 days.
The mobile wallet solution enables shoppers to purchase items at checkout either directly from their smartphone or through a special PayPal card.
“We intend to stay at the forefront of POS technologies like PayPal’s in-store checkout using an empty hand interface,” Kimmet added.
Clearly, PayPal’s mobile commerce endeavors, as intended, have begun siphoning away customers from major credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard. And as PayPal grows cozier with major retail outlets inside their bricks-and-mortar establishments, the trend will likely escalate radically.
eBay projects that PayPal’s mobile payment volume reach $7 billion this year, up from $4 billion last year. And let’s not forget that the company previously bested Wall Street estimates with better-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, which were fueled by PayPal’s aggressive retail growth strategy.
At the onset of 2012, PayPal enjoyed an active user base of more than 100 million people in 190 countries. That expansive reach also includes 8 million merchant partners.
Just The Beginning
As Daily Deal Media reported last month, PayPal is still in the process of significantly reevaluating and reorganizing its priorities and strategies to meet new consumer demands while staying on top of emerging trends and technologies.
To that end, PayPal director of communications Anuj Nayar tells Bloomberg that the company will accelerate its mCommerce efforts as 2012 rolls along. For instance, PayPal will hold mobile payment trials with 20 more top national retailers before the 2012 holiday shopping season commences.
What’s more, beyond mobile and point-of-sale payments, PayPal will even launch geo-targeted mobile advertising campaigns, real-time inventory data, and new barcode scanning tools.
“We are excited about our partnership with The Home Depot,” Nayar admits. “We will continue to be focused on delivering the best possible product experience for customers and retailers as we expand with The Home Depot and other national retailers this year.”
“This is the beginning of a fundamental change in the company,” he concludes. “What we are finally rolling out will ultimately be, in part, an international phenomenon. It’s a change in how retailers and consumers are going to connect.”