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5 Really Important Things I Learned About Mobile Wallets from PayPal


Mobile wallets. It’s been on the top of my mind for the past year, mainly because I’m one of those guys that has to wear both hats. I tend to look at things from both the end-user perspective first, and from an business integration perspective second. From a customer perspective, it’s a blessing for guys like me who never actually carries cash. As a business, the potential excites the hell out of me. It’s inevitable that this is our next eventual step.

As a retailer, we (Gotstyle) has flirted with the idea of integrating a mobile wallet for years. Lets face it: your business should be focusing on making the point of sale process as fluid as possible – and mobile wallets are at the forefront.

  • Everybody hates lineups. Customers just want to scan ‘n go. Time is the one thing we don’t want to waste.
  • It really sucks to forget your wallet when you need it the most. We’re in a digital age where carrying cash is becoming less and less important. Not to say that cash should ever be replaced – we just like to pay things without the transactional component. Hello, Uber!
  • We want a leg up from the rest of the cattle. “So what’s in it for me?”, a potential customers will ask. Well, mobile wallets provide an easy gateway into reward points, gamification, repeat visits, integrated learning, and countless other ways to convert them into loyal customers. All you have to do is download.



paypal-mobile-wallet-toronto-boehmer-1Recently, PayPal’s mobile wallet was introduced to a group of media, bloggers, and tech writers at the Ossington strip’s hot bed for tasty eats, Boehmer. The restaurant is among the 50 other specially-curated restaurants and coffee shops in Toronto to adopt the PayPal mobile wallet, which includes Jimmy’s, Thor Espresso Bar, Spirit House, and Snakes & Lagers. The evening included a ton of incredible bites, a presentation by PayPal Canada’s Head of Consumer Marketing Kerry Reynolds, and a generous amount of tech talk with execs from TouchBistro POS, PayPal, and its mobile users.

That being said, I’ve pinpointed five main takeaways after being exposed to both ends of the mobile money potential.

  1. Swiping is the easiest way to make a purchase easy (and it’s fun). I recently read a really sick Medium article about the rise of card swiping, and while cards aren’t exactly useful for mobile wallets, the popular swipe motion is. It’s surprisingly simple and while PayPal admitted has tried different iterations of interactions to put a payment through (like the dreaded “phone shaking”), returning to the simple roots of a left-to-right swipe is really what makes this app both interactive and simple to use.
  2. paypal-mobile-wallet-toronto-boehmer-5It’s good to have more than one use from download a mobile wallet app. The hurdle that many mobile wallets face is that as an end-user, you have download yet another app. It’s an incredibly annoying step, especially when the business may have other separate apps for their customers to download. The difficult answer? Integrate it into what already exists. The simple answer? Give me more things to do than just spend your bucks. PayPal Mobile offers a lot of other features outside of the wallet, including mapping out other locations to use your mobile wallet. This works because all of their partners have been chosen because someone who gets an Americano at Jimmy’s will most likely indulge in a cocktail at Spirit House. Oh, and you can manage your PayPal account, obviously.
  3. I really appreciate when any service-based establishment can completely integrate their business with the mobile wallet. Lets face it, this is the biggest change to point-of-sale since the Interac machine was introduced. Training and education is super important here, and if a business can fit this into their operations, the returns are astounding. It’s absolutely crucial for a business to fully adopt mobile wallets, because without it, it will inevitably hurt your business.
  4. It’s more than just the software: You have a lot of opportunity to build a relationship with the business. As a restauranteur, it’s a perfect avenue to build loyalty and introduce some creative marketing.
  5. This is just the start. PayPal’s mobile wallet is currently only open to restaurants and coffee shops, but they has plans to branch out into retail and other service establishments. The discovery of new mobile wallet businesses is growing, and implementation of  community elements into the app could drive further use. 


And you know, it’s PayPal. They’re huge. And they’re extremely trustworthy, even when the heart’s bled (get it?). They’re limited only by your participation, and it doesn’t look like the leader of mobile wallets in Canada plans to slow down.

 Maybe you should download it now.

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