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Science & Environment
Mar 14 2012 9:44AM
 
PayPal fattens digital wallet
PayPal digital "wallet" improvements to begin rolling out in May include the ability to make purchases at stores but decide days later which credit or debit cards will be used to pay. Picture: Getty Images
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PayPal on Tuesday pulled out a revamped digital wallet service amid rumors it is poised to introduce a plug-in gizmo that will let small businesses accept credit card payments using smartphones.

PayPal digital "wallet" improvements to begin rolling out in May include the ability to make purchases at stores but decide days later which credit or debit cards will be used to pay.

"We've re-designed and re-architected the PayPal digital wallet," said global product and experience vice president Sam Shrauger.

"It isn't just about sticking a wallet on a mobile phone," he continued in an apparent dig at Google Wallet payment capabilities added to some high-end Android-powered smartphones. "This is about really making money work better."

Along with overhauling the user interface at PayPal wallet Web pages the eBay-owned service added in "new forms of value" including coupons, gift cards and loyalty program credits, according to Shrauger.

PayPal wallet users could also customize installment plans to pay for large purchases.

"Money is all really digital now, waiting to be moved between two servers somewhere," Shrauger said. "Organizing our money should be much easier than it is."

PayPal is hosting a press event in San Francisco on Thursday to unveil what it "has in store for small businesses."

Rumors ahead of the event included a report in respected technology blog GigaOm that PayPal will introduce a triangular "dongle" that will plug into mobile devices to scan credit or debit cards for purchases.

Such a move would be a direct challenge to startup Square, a brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. The name of the company came from the shape of the small gadgets provided to let anyone use smartphones to process payment cards.
      
-Sapa-AFP

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