PayPal to launch mobile deals in 2012

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PayPal will begin to roll out a mobile deals service in the “next few weeks,” said PayPal spokesman Anuj Nayar on Dec. 14. The eBay-owned company is partnering with approximately 200 U.S. merchants for the service, which be will opt-in only, he said.

Najar declined to specify which retailers are involved but said that the “first tranche” will feature “bigger brands in a range of industries” and that PayPal is working on a service for small- and medium-sized merchants.

The mobile deals service is the result of eBay's April acquisition of location-based service Where, Nayar said, and is part of a larger PayPal initiative to create a “one-stop shop” of technologies spanning demand generation, payments and online/offline inventory that retailers can implement.

“We're taking [Where's] demand-generation and locally based deals and integrating it into the full flow of all these solutions so you can start to produce highly targeted offers and actually close the loop [by having] the payment piece built in also,” Nayar said.

Asked whether deals will be targeted according to consumers' geolocation or PayPal purchase history, Nayar said that the service hasn't launched yet but “in theory that's absolutely what's possible,” adding that Where's technology can accurately locate a mobile device to within seven feet.

The mobile deals service will complement the PayPal Shopping website, which offers deals that consumers can redeem online.

“What we find is that the old paradigms of online shopper, offline shopper, mobile shopper just don't exist. The reality is consumers shop in a multichannel environment,” Nayar said.

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