At this year’s PayPal X conference Wired got up close and personal with one of the most interesting gadgets that we have seen in some time, and no, it is not another dang phone. The PayPal team, looking to “[take] PayPal payments beyond the web,” built a vending machine that can accept PayPal.
As an avid, you may even say addicted, PayPal user, someone who actually has a PayPal debit card for moving money from the internet to the real world, this is a giant step in the right direction. Now, how the vending machine works is rather convoluted, but it is a move in the right direction.
To make a PayPal payment you scan a QR code with your smartphone which instigates the transfer, which will after going through send the payer a Twitter note alerting them of the payment and its cost. A smartphone and your PayPal account are all you need to purchase on the go without a card.
Move over Square, I am in love. If this became more sophisticated you could have QR codes abounding around the world and less and less need to ever employ your wallet. Add in a swipe-password system like Android features for quick safety on the go, and small micropayments in the real world sans cash are feasible.
Wired rightly points out that there are around an infinite number of better uses than a candy vending machine, but for a proof of concept, good on PayPal. If you build it PayPal, at least I will come.