I’ll admit PayPal is one of my favorite apps on my phone. There’s nothing that brings me more joy than hearing the alert on my phone letting me know that I’ve received money! 😉 Well, little did I know that you can actually shop in-store or order your favorite food from the top restaurant in town right from PayPal! PayPal payments expert, Jennifer Hakes was kind enough to join me recently to dish on how we can save time and money while shopping and eating out with PayPal this holiday season and into the New Year, and the latest trends in charitable gifting. Happy Shopping and Gifting!
Candace Rose: How can we be more efficient when it comes to last minute shopping this holiday season?
Jennifer Hakes: “Well, I think there’s a lot of different ways you can do it and technology can really help. For example, I am a multi-tasker, I have to be because of my job and because of my two kids. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to get shopping done while I’m watching TV and checking work email at night. I sit on my couch, I throw my laptop on my lap and I shop away while catching up on the latest episode of ‘Bones.’ That’s efficiency, right? We’re doing about eight different things all the time.
Another way that we can be more efficient during the holiday shopping season especially as we get closer and closer to Christmas is when you get to an in-store environment, take advantage of technology- apps and other products that can make your life easier while you’re in the store. PayPal actually offers a feature called Order Ahead, so when you want to order lunch or a smoothie to-go in advance- let’s say you have an hour for lunch break, and you have to shop and grab your lunch because you’re still hungry. You shop and then you order ahead…you get to the restaurant, you grab your food and you’re out of there without having to pull anything out. You just do a quick wave and it’s already paid for, so it’s little things like that tweaks and changes of behavior that are changing and making shopping much more efficient than ever before.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any other suggestions when it comes to mobile shopping?
Jennifer Hakes: “I think you should look at your phone. Look for the easiest shopping apps that you have, and start taking advantage of them. Often times they’re going to have offers embedded with them, and actually the PayPal app has an offer feature as well where you can save offers to your digital wallet (your Paypal account) and they’re automatically applied when you go to the store- no more forgetting the paper coupon at home or digging through your purse and holding up everyone in line. There’s so much richness within these apps that these stores are providing because they want you to have a great experience and they want you to come back.”
Candace Rose: And speaking of waiting in line, why do you think waiting in long holiday lines will end in the next five years?
Jennifer Hakes: “Well, I think features and technologies like I was just describing are about unburdening the shopping experience. Shopping should be fun, and paying really isn’t. Payments companies and payments technologies are really advancing and really looking at payments not at just a credit card swipe, but as an opportunity to add value to the experience.
One of the biggest hassles of shopping – holiday and otherwise, is waiting in line or waiting at all…so order ahead. That’s obviously going to decrease that and we’ll eventually see that move from restaurants to other in-store shopping experiences like clothing retailers. Offers saves a ton of time, and that’s going to shave off minutes online so we’re going to see those less and less.
We also have a functionality called Check-In where just with the swipe of your thumb you can tell the merchant that you’re there. Your face pops up on the screen and then you don’t have to pull out your wallet and your credit card or your cash or your change…you just pay for it, just with your face. All those little things today are eliminating a lot of the line burden and decreasing that. We think five years is going to fly by and we’re not even going to have to worry about that anymore.”
Candace Rose: The holidays aren’t just about getting gifts, but giving them as well. Can you tell us about any trends you’re seeing around charitable giving this year?
Jennifer Hakes: “I don’t know if you knew this, but the paper check is still the most popular way to give to your favorite charity. Online and mobile giving is an opportunity to ease the administration costs, especially with all that paper and obviously save the consumer time when they want to give. If you go to StampOutChecks.com. We are now, through the end of the year donating $5.52 on top of your donation, which is the cost of 12 stamps…so if you give monthly to your favorite charity like I do, it’s going to save you money and also that’s going to add on to the charity’s uptake. It’s just a really nice way to shine the light on online and mobile giving to ease the administration costs and burdens of the charity and to make it so much easier for the consumer to give.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much, Jennifer! Where can we go for more information?
Jennifer Hakes: “Well, PayPal.com and sign up for an account now. You can also go to the app store or Android marketplace and download the PayPal app. Definitely check out StampOutChecks.com.”