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PayPal Project Hammers Home Change

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PayPal and Home Depot are working on a not-so-little project; in fact, experts say the two are in the midst of a pilot program that could fundamentally change the way people pay for goods.

A while back, PayPal revealed that it was testing in-store payment technology both via mobile and POS systems on a ‘friends and family’ basis at Home Depot. The pilot in five stores was expanded to 51 Home Depot stores in the San Francisco Bay area. Now, it’s being reported that sometime this month all Home Depot shoppers will be able to use PayPal to make purchase in stores.

Customers who have a PayPal account can either use a PIN code via their mobile phone or a specialized PayPal credit card that can be swiped; the payment amount will be deducted from their PayPal account. For Home Depot, PayPal purchases come with lower fees than debit or credit card purchases. Since PayPal users have the option of linking checking accounts, credit cards or other payment methods to their accounts, PayPal is able to keep fees in check.

The potential for lower fees is compelling, but so too is a series of other benefits that experts claim are viable. The Home Depot/PayPal partnership could allow customers who scan an item with their smartphones to receive discount offers. Users will also have the ability to access real-time store inventory, receive in-store offers and real-time location-based advertising.

PayPal has said it intends to offer the same service at 20 major retailers by the end of the year.

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