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PayPal introduces mobile payments program for employees

The company partnered with Bling Nation for the program. The mobile initiative lets PayPal employees fund Bling Nation purchases by linking the BlingTag to to a PayPal account.

“Bling Nation’s strategy is to drive mobile payment in the United States by enabling the mobile device to be used as a payment device,” said Meyer Malka, founder, co-CEO and director of Bling Nation, San Francisco. “Mobile is the future – and payments will be too.

“We’ll see mobile devices starting to replace the wallet for everyday purchases in the near future,” he said.

PayPal, a subsidiary of eBay, lets members send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing.

Bling Nation mobile payment services connect local financial institutions and businesses, letting customers use their mobile devices to tap and pay for purchases and receive text account balance and transaction confirmations at the point of sale.

Paypal program
The program will feature more than 2,000 employees, as well as early adopters using the BlingTag for lunch and coffee purchases throughout Palo Alto, CA.

The program leverages PayPal’s open APIs, PayPal X, which enables more flexibility of payment options for consumers, per Bling Nation.

“For the Palo Alto market, the initial drivers for Bling Nation are the young college students and technology-savvy adults, our early adopters,” Mr. Malka said. “But because of how the Bling Nation mobile payment service is designed – it works with any phone that receives text messages and consumers just tap-to-pay – we really see Bling as a service for all consumers. 

“We’re working closely with our financial institutions, merchants and partner to get the word out,” he said. “With PayPal, we have begun to roll out an initial program in the Palo Alto area, working with merchants and consumers. 

“We have designed a number of promotions and marketing programs to help build buzz locally, and will continue to look for ways to sustain this momentum.”

Mobile bling
Bling Nation recently partnered with Valley National Bank to offer mobile payments to businesses and consumers, enabling tap-and-pay purchases at the point of sale (see story).

The PayPal program is currently taking place at the PayPal campus.

“Partnering with PayPal provides another option for consumers to pay with Bling, using their PayPal account,” Mr. Malka said. “We decided to use PayPal X, its open APIs, for this introductory program because the PayPal X APIs enable secure, convenient payments in applications and businesses just like ours.

“For Palo Alto, we’ve just rolled out with our beta phase,” he said. “Currently, BlingTags are available to PayPal employees on the PayPal campus, early adopters in Palo Alto and to local college students in the fall. 

“In the coming future, you’ll see us announce new partnerships with financial institutions and rolling out in more cities and towns throughout the country.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.