Paypal discredits NFC’s momentum

Paypal believes that mobile payments are the future, but it doesn’t think services like Google Wallet and the mobile joint venture Isis are the answer.

Over the last several years, Paypal has built up an incredible brand in a market where it has almost zero competition – an alternative way to pay for products and services that doesn’t involve using a credit card.

The alternative payment provider has even dabbled in the world of retail stores, offering dedicated terminals at select pilot locations. It perhaps has the most to lose if an advancing technology like NFC (Near Field Communication) takes over.

Paypal has actually developed its own NFC app that allows users to tap two phones together to transfer money to and from their respective Paypal accounts, but the company says this is not where the evolution of payments lies.

The whole point of NFC is that you can use your phone instead of a credit card at retail point-of-sale locations. It’s simple, since the technology to accept this form of payment already exists in thousands of stores around the country.

But Paypal mobile VP David Marcus says in the future, the very idea of a payment terminal may be obsolete. “By the time NFC catches up, we’ll be in a world that will move away from the point-of-sales terminal,” he said in a recent interview with

There is clearly a paradigm shift underway. For decades and decades and decades, to buy something at a store you either had to have cash, a checkbook, or a credit card. For the first time since the inception of plastic payments, new ways to pay are emerging, and whatever may end up being the new standard is still a win-win situation for consumers.