While the rest of us have been waiting on NFC-enabled smartphones to to bring us the power of a mobile wallet, PayPal has devised a way to bypass devices altogether. In a partnership with Home Depot, the payment provider has begun to roll out a service that enables payments at brick and mortar stores using only a mobile phone number and a pin number at checkout. Originally tested in a handful of Home Depot locations, the program is expected to expand to all 2,000 US locations within the next two weeks.
Given its 350 million-strong user base, Paypal is poised to compete with payment giants like Visa and Mastercard. The gauntlet has been thrown, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few months.