Wallets and NFC tremble in fear as PayPal intros new ways to pay by phone

Wallets tremble in fear as PayPal intros new ways to pay with smartphones
PayPal does all the sums for you

Britain may have a shiny new pound coin to look forward to, but the real future of currency lies in digital payments.

PayPal is one of the major driving forces behind that shift and it's just added some new ways to get people paying with their phones, not their wallets.

'Order Ahead' and 'Pay at Table' join existing services on PayPal's app, both of which aim to make the process of ordering and buying much faster and easier.

This means people can now use its smartphone app at over 2,000 high street shops and restaurants in the UK.

TechRadar took the new features for a spin, and we found the experience to be straightforward and enjoyable to use. More importantly, they saved a lot of time.

Diner dash

We started by using the Pay At Table feature which let us split the bill between three people easily (of course, they'll also have to be using PayPal's service) as well as giving the option to each add a tip.

Once the payment was confirmed, that was it - we were free to go, even if it still felt like we were pulling a 'diner dash'.


Splitting the bill - and leaving a tip - is nice and straightforward

Order Ahead, meanwhile, lets you do exactly that. Once you've selected the participating restaurant, you can peruse their menu while in the app and make your selection. Then you pick what time you want to pick it up and you're all done.

PayPal also offers a picture payment feature, something it's been trailing since last year. This lets the app share your profile picture with the restaurant (currently just the Gourmet Burger Kitchen in the UK) once you've 'signed in' to that location, meaning they can verify your face before running your order through the till. However, the payment is still made completely digitally.

All in all, it's a strong start, but PayPal still has a long way to go before mobile payments become the norm. However PayPal told TechRadar it still believes the high street will be wallet-free by 2016.

If PayPal has its way, by the time the new pound coin rolls in in 2017 we may no longer have a need for it.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.