You've never seen a PayPal like this before: Slide a "Check in" button to pay, walk into a store, and say "I paid with PayPal" then walk right out with your purchases. Or how about this: You're finishing dessert at a restaurant and notice how backed up your server is, so you simply pay your bill at the table right from your PayPal app--including the tip. Or you find a truly stellar green velvet couch on Craigslist, but you're coming up a little short, so you just use the Bill Me Later flexible credit line feature in your brand-spankin-new PayPal app. Are you getting the picture yet?
On Wednesday, the prodigious mobile payment company released a complete overhaul of its mobile app, with a redesigned user interface and upgraded features. The service's staple features, such as paying friends, purchasing online goods, and scanning a check, remain solid. And you can still, of course, manage your PayPal account and view activity. But now, you can also do a great deal more.
Upon opening the new PayPal app, you'll see a list of nearby restaurants, stores, and businesses that accept PayPal as payment. PayPal has worked extensively with merchants to integrate the new PayPal (and its various features) into the stores' point-of-sale systems, and the company's effort really shows--paying for an item at any of these locations is literally as easy as sliding the "Check In" bar on the PayPal app, then walking in, saying you paid with PayPal, and walking out with your Jamba Juice, or Starbucks, or what have you. The POS system shows your name and photo, and the clerk simply clicks your photo to process the payment.
You'll also notice tiny green tags in the list of affiliates, to indicate coupons--which can, of course, be automatically redeemed to your PayPal Wallet. Another new feature, the PayPal Wallet replaces your account and shows your PayPal balance and any bank accounts, credit, or debit cards you have linked to your PayPal account. Because you can do that now too, and you can switch between methods of payment with a few taps, which is hugely convenient. And--and! If you don't have a credit card, maybe consider checking out the new Bill Me Later feature which offers up to $2,000 worth of PayPal credit. (Awesome green Craigslist couch, here you come.)
What else? Well, you can indeed pay a restaurant bill directly from your table using the app, which also makes it easy to review your bill, tip, and alert your server. There's even an option to order ahead, saving you time from waiting in line to order and pay--you can view menus from directly within the app thanks to a partnership with Eat24. The new app is available for iOS and Android users, and anyone who wants to make it even easier to buy shoes. (Like me.)