After discussing its vision of a digital payments future over the past few years, PayPal is finally making it a reality today with the launch of its new iPhone and Android apps.
The apps (free on iPhone and Android) offer some innovative new features like the ability to order and pay for something before you even step foot in a store, as well as pay right at the table in some restaurants, but their biggest upgrade is pretty simple: It makes all of PayPal’s existing services far more easy to use.
For example, now you can easily switch between using your payment sources for every transaction, PayPal no longer pushes to use your bank account for everything. Sending money to friends is easier than ever. And PayPal has also added more extensive integration with its Bill Me Later service. Now you can apply for Bill Me Later right from within the app and have a line of credit available in seconds.
These new apps prove that PayPal can both innovate with completely new features, while also looking inward to make its current technology far more user friendly.
PayPal’s Anuj Nayar, the senior director of global initiatives, led me on a whirlwind tour of several Manhattan cafes and restaurants to show off the new app. We ordered coffee at the Telegraphe Cafe simply by checking in with the app and telling the cashier to charge us (they identified one of the PayPal reps with me by their profile picture, which showed up in their register). While sipping coffee at the Telegraphe, we ordered ahead for cookies at a bakery, which were ready for us to pick up as soon as we walked in.