PayPal has developed a mobile phone app for consumers to use in retail shops, with the first trial just gone live in 12 shops in Richmond.

The online payment service has made the app available free of charge through the relevant stores for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

It highlights nearby shops and restaurants that accept PayPal, the customer checks in by clicking on the retailer and pays by sliding a pin down in the app. Once they have checked in their name and photo appears on the shop's payment system, and when they have agreed on the amount the cashier charges by clicking the image.

Rob Harper, Head of Retail and Hospitality for PayPal UK, told TRPro that it is a secure process as no information is stored on the phone; all of it is in the PayPal cloud. Also, there is no spending limit on the app.

He said Richmond was chosen for the trial because it is the location for PayPal's UK headquarters. There are no plans for similar trials in other areas, but the company is talking with a number of retail chains about the making the service available in their shops.

"Our strategy now is to work with the brands to roll it out across high streets around the country," Harper said.

He also predicted that by 2016 the "wallet-less high street" would be a reality in the UK.