PayPal rolls out QR code payments for a touch-free way to buy and sell in-person

By Maev Martin
PayPal rolls out QR code payments for a touch-free way to buy and sell in-person

PayPal Holdings has today rolled out the ability to use QR codes to buy and sell goods in Ireland and 27 other markets around the globe. From local takeaway coffee shops to selling second-hand goods, PayPal says that the rollout of the QR code functionality in the PayPal app allows customers to buy or sell in in-person, safely and securely, and touch-free.

“Covid-19 has changed the shopping experience in Ireland,” says Maeve Dornan, vice president of global merchant services, PayPal. “Not only do people need security and convenience, as always, they now need to be able to sell and buy in a way that is quick, safe and involves limited social contact. Digital payments, and this QR code functionality, allow for this and could be how small Irish businesses survive during the crisis, and potentially thrive in the future. Additionally, to continue PayPal’s efforts in assisting our customers during this difficult period, for a limited time, we are waiving our standard seller transaction fees incurred for sales conducted using a QR code.”

Safely buying and selling touch-free
PayPal says that using the QR code functionality in the PayPal app is a ‘quick and safe’ way to complete a transaction in-person utilising a PayPal wallet, eliminating the need to handle cash. For example, customers who are selling items in-person at a local coffee shop can print a QR code, place it on their table, and have their consumers simply scan, enter the amount they’re paying, and send money immediately.

This allows the seller to minimise physical interactions with the customer, while also limiting the customer’s interaction with checkout technology. There is no technology to touch or purchase – just aim a smartphone camera at a QR code that is printed or present on another screen.

For a buyer looking to pay, customers can go to the PayPal app, click ‘send,’ and tap the QR code symbol in the top right-hand corner. The camera will open, and customers can scan a seller’s QR code and follow the prompts to complete the transaction.


“We know that in the current environment, buying and selling goods in a health-conscious, safe and secure way is front of mind for many people around the world,” says John Kunze, senior vice president of branded experiences, PayPal. “As the coronavirus situation has evolved, we have seen a surge in demand for digital payments to transition to include new in-person environments and situations. The rollout of QR codes for buyers and sellers not only incorporates the safety, security and convenience of using PayPal in-person, but also takes into consideration ongoing social distancing requirements, even as we start to see some restrictions being lifted around the world.”

PayPal is rolling this functionality out to 28 markets around the globe, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, the UK, and the US.

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