Last year, Singapore was in the news for the debut of a shopping wall powered by quick response codes after supermarket chain Cold Storage put up QR coded posters at the Boon Lay and Bugis MRT stations in the Lion City.
Now, Singapore is where Paypal is taking its QR code app for a road test. The payment company has launched a total of 15 QR code shops in various subway stations all over Singapore. The program is called “Shop and Pay On-the-Go.”
These QR code virtual shops will allow commuters to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones from eight different retailers. That is right: eight different stores are participating in the Paypal campaign.
Buyers can browse through the virtual shopping walls, scan the QR code and pay for their purchases using their Paypal accounts. This is pretty similar to Tesco South Korea’s virtual shopping wall, which allowed train commuters to shop for grocery items while waiting for their trains. Tesco South Korea would then process the payments and then deliver the goods just as the buyer gets home.
Elias Ghanem, Paypal’s managing director for Southeast Asia and India, said in a blog post that Singapore is the perfect country to try out the QR code payments because 70% of its population already own a smartphone. On top of that, Singaporeans are more open to mobile commerce, with 7 out of 10 of them saying that they will buy something on their mobile phones.
Plus, Singapore’s subway system already has iMobSMRT, which provides Internet connectivity in the transport network. Singaporeans have also long been using QR codes and near-field communication in their subways to access news and other sites through their mobile phones.
And Paypal is bent on making QR codes and mobile payments a success. It has been investing heavily on various technologies for mobile payments and has even doubled its forecast for mobile payments to $7 billion in 2012 alone.
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