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PayPal expands mobile wallet to more retailers, tests order-ahead pickup

PayPal is extending its fledgling mobile wallet service to five additional U.S. retail partners, increasing the number of physical stores supporting the payment processing technology to 18,000.

In addition to new agreements with RadioShack, Dollar General, Famous Footwear, Mapco Express and Spartan Stores, PayPal said it has inked deals with two additional partners to be named soon. As of the end of 2012, PayPal had mobile wallet partnerships in place with 23 nationwide retail chains. TechCrunch reports PayPal and Jamba Juice are also testing a new ordering option enabling consumers to pre-pay for their order via PayPal, schedule a pick-up time and bypass the customer line upon arrival.

eBay-owned PayPal launched the mobile wallet early last year, allowing consumers to connect their existing PayPal account to their mobile device and fund purchases by entering their phone number and PIN code into the retailer's existing point-of-sale terminal. The service also features price comparison and shopping list tools as well as support for coupons and offers. Beginning later this year, Discover will enable all of its 7 million existing merchant partners across the U.S. to accept PayPal transactions--the firms are also negotiating to extend the alliance to Discover's international payments network.

PayPal has championed the wallet as an alternative to Near Field Communications and other mobile commerce technologies requiring retailers to adopt new point-of-sale hardware. In a blog entry posted Monday, PayPal Vice President of Retail Services took a thinly-veiled shot at NFC-based mobile payment solutions like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet and carrier-backed Isis, writing "Some of the competition has stumbled with alternative technology offerings that don't address true customer pain points--they have created technology, just for technology's sake."
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