A couple months after learning of Google’s plans for creating an NFC payment infrastructure based around Google Wallet, we heard that PayPal was working on adding NFC capabilities to its own Android app. The expectation at the time was that PayPal would have this new edition available by the end of summer. We’re a month-and-a-half behind schedule by now, but PayPal has finally come through, upgrading its app to support NFC.
The updated app includes bug fixes, a tweaked user interface, and expanded international availability, but the big change is NFC. You enter in the amount of money you’d like to request, tap your phone against the payee’s, and the PayPal app will launch for him or her to authorize the payment.
We love seeing NFC being embraced, and in theory this usage feels appropriate for technology, substituting tapping phones together for passing cash hand-to-hand. As we noted before, though, some of how PayPal’s implementation works just seems really unnecessary. Especially if you’re exchanging funds with someone regularly (paying a buddy back for lunch or somesuch), you’ll have his contact details saved, and requesting a payment via e-mail sounds like (in some situations) it could be even more convenient than physically bringing your phones together. Considering how few of us have NFC on our phones, let alone also use PayPal, and we’re not quite sure how to feel about this release.