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    PayPal Tests Cardless Payment Technology at Home Depot Stores

    eBay division predicts huge things for mobile wallets in 2012, including c-stores.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Convenience store retailers may soon have a method of avoiding the high debit and credit card fees charged by banks. PayPal, a division of eBay Inc., has rolled a test pilot payment system at five Home Depot stores.

    The point-of-sale pilot program allows users to pay for products by typing in their phone number and personal identification number, which grants them access to the PayPal system.

    It is uncertain of an exact date when the program will be implemented at c-stores if PayPal deems the pilot program successful. However, PayPal clearly has grand future plans regarding mobile wallet technology.

    "We've been talking about how PayPal will change the future of shopping for months now," said Anuj Nayar, PayPal's director of communications, in a blog post that appears on PayPal's website. "PayPal has always been about connecting retailers with their customers by helping them integrate a faster, more targeted and more flexible shopping experience across channels."

    Scott Dunlap, vice president of Emerging Opportunities for PayPal, said in a guest column for Gigaom.com that mobile payment growth will reach a "third gear" this year. "Don't think that mobile devices will be your future identity?" he asked. "Try spending an hour walking around without your phone, wallet or keys. I barely made it to the end of the block before panic set in."

    Expect more c-stores to have mobile wallet technology in 2012, he added. "We're seeing requests for payment capabilities on everything from gas pumps to Laundromats," Dunlap wrote in his story for the news outlet. "As all devices become 'smart and connected,' it provides more consumer choice and enables the digital wallet in the cloud to show its true value. I know we all can't wait for the day we don't have to clip coupons and remember loyalty card numbers, and our wallet intelligently figures out how you should pay for things. 2012 will see this come to life in many forms, and the 'a-ha' moment around digital wallets will make sense to many."

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