Added 17 September, 2013
While the future of shopping is not quite ubiquitous, it's moving a step closer with a new hands-free payment system now being distributed by PayPal. Beacon is a little device that retailers simply plug into a wall socket. The device sends out a Bluetooth low energy signal to anyone who walks into the store with the PayPal app loaded on their mobile device. Customers simply acknowledge they will pay, their phone beeps, and the transaction is handled immediately. All hands free. No cash, cards, taps, or signatures required. The company is currently offering the Beacon to selected merchants for about US $100. The fight for primacy of our soon-to-be cashless economy is going on now between some very big players, including banks, credit card companies, and tech firms like Google and Apple. While the jury is still out as to which will lead this space, for customers it is already clear that this is the direction we are heading.