PayPal Tests Smartwatch Payment Option at Starbucks
PayPal is testing a new wireless smartwatch system at Starbucks that identifies you to the barista when you enter the store and allows you to pay for purchases.
The new pilot program is currently being tested at a Starbucks located on the PayPal campus in San Jose. It combines the technology of Bluetooth Low Energy beacons with the smartwear available through Samsung.
Users can install a special app on their Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch that alerts the baristas whenever they come into the store. The user’s name and photo show up on the Starbucks POS system, and the user gets a notification on his smartwatch whenever his bill is totaled. He can pay with the tap of a finger and go about his day.
This system is still in its test phase, but it is another step toward mobile payment technology and a cash free society. In this case, users store their credit card information in an account connected to their phone. The phone, and subsequently the smartwatch, then facilitate the payment.
A program like this would minimize identity theft because baristas and other workers could see if someone’s photo does not match his face. In that case, they may choose to deny the person service.