How To Use PayPal In Stores & Other PayPal Questions Answered
PayPal users can now use NFC technology to spend their balances at shops in the offline world, and it's easy for merchants to begin accepting PayPal in their stores.
PayPal is synonymous with P2P payments and digital wallets for consumers. Over the years, though, PayPal has also dabbled in creating options for users to pay with their PayPal balances in brick-and-mortar stores. Despite a few failed attempts, PayPal seems to have finally worked out the kinks in the process. PayPal users can now utilize near field communication (NFC) technology to spend their balances at shops in the offline world.
For those who find themselves asking, “Where can I use PayPal and how do I use it to pay in stores?” — this article is for you. We’re going to take a deep dive into the various means of how to pay with PayPal in stores. We’re also going to fill merchants in on the different ways you can accept PayPal payments in your store.
Table of Contents
- How To Pay With PayPal In-Store
- Using Your PayPal Balance & Cards To Make Payments
- How To Set Up PayPal NFC For In-Store Payments
- Using PayPal Scan To Pay (QR Codes) In Stores
- Can You Use PayPal Credit In Stores?
- How Can Merchants Accept PayPal Payments?
- Where Can You Pay With PayPal In Stores?
- Learn To Make The Most Of PayPal As A Business Or Customer
How To Pay With PayPal In-Store
If you have a PayPal balance and want to spend it in a brick-and-mortar store, you have three options: NFC-based payment using your Android phone, a PayPal-issued card (of which there are several options), and using PayPal’s scan to pay QR code feature at various locations.
It’s also important to know that PayPal has discontinued two in-store payment options it previously offered: payment codes and the mobile phone + pin method. (Support ended for both on March 31, 2018.)
Using Your PayPal Balance & Cards To Make Payments
PayPal offers Mastercard-backed debit cards for business and personal users, depending on what type of account you have. For consumers, there’s even a prepaid card that allows you to load your PayPal balance in set increments, among other perks. These cards are linked to your PayPal balance and even allow you to withdraw cash from ATMs at no charge from PayPal (non-MoneyPass ATMs will still charge a fee, though).
If you have one of these cards, you can also use your PayPal smartphone app at the register to add cash to your balance at supported stores (the following link lets you search for a supported store near you). However, a service fee of up to $3.95 applies when you do this.
Let’s take a closer look at PayPal’s debit cards.
How To Set Up PayPal NFC For In-Store Payments
PayPal doesn’t currently support NFC payments from directly within the app itself. Instead, PayPal has opted to form a partnership with Google to allow Android phone users to connect PayPal to their Google Pay accounts and even make it the default payment option.
Here’s how to connect PayPal to your Google Pay account on an Android device:
Step 1: Go to payment methods
Open your Google Pay app and select “Payment methods.”
Step 2: Add a payment method
Tap “Add payment method.”
Step 3: Add PayPal
Select PayPal from among the options given.
Step 4: Enter your PayPal email address and finish the process
Next, enter your PayPal email address when prompted (though it may autofill). Then, hit “Allow” to confirm your information and “Accept” to finish the process of adding PayPal to your Google Pay account. It’s that easy!
Can You Add PayPal To Apple Pay?
Unfortunately, PayPal does not currently support NFC payments with Apple devices, and you cannot link your PayPal balance to Apple Pay or Apple Pay Cash. That may change in the future, but for now, it’s not an option. You won’t see an option to link PayPal in the Apple Pay wallet setup or the PayPal app on an iOS device.
However, Apple does allow you to link your PayPal balance to your iOS account so that you can use PayPal to pay for iTunes purchases as well as iCloud and Apple Music subscriptions.
Using PayPal Scan To Pay (QR Codes) In Stores
Many mobile wallets offer the ability to make peer-to-peer transfers through QR codes. PayPal is among them, as is its sister mobile app, Venmo.
Unfortunately, you generally won’t see this option offered by very many retailers. Merchants can, however, provide a QR code that you scan to make an in-person payment. You do this by opening your PayPal app, tapping “Scan/Pay,” which brings up your camera, holding your camera up to the QR code, and letting it capture the image, then entering the amount due. Confirm the transaction and show the merchant that it’s complete.
A similar feature, PayPal.Me, allows businesses and customers to make peer-to-peer transactions through links.
Can You Use PayPal Credit In Stores?
Currently, PayPal doesn’t support using PayPal Credit in stores. Note that PayPal Credit exists separately from PayPal’s credit cards. PayPal Credit specifically applies to online purchases and offers six months of no-interest financing on purchases.
Likewise, PayPal’s similar service Pay in 4 is only available for online purchases.
How Can Merchants Accept PayPal Payments?
The good news is you don’t have to be a PayPal merchant to accept payments from PayPal customers in stores. If you want to accept PayPal payments online, that’s another story. I suggest you check out our PayPal review to see whether the company’s merchant services fit your needs.
Keep in mind that customers have three ways to pay in stores with PayPal: using one of PayPal’s Mastercard-backed debit or credit cards, NFC payments, and QR codes.
PayPal Debit & Credit Cards
The good news is that if you already accept debit or credit card payments, you don’t need to do anything more to accept PayPal cards. As long as your agreement includes Mastercard processing (and it almost certainly does), you’re good to go! If you don’t currently accept credit/debit cards and are considering making the leap, we recommend checking out our top-rated credit card processors as a starting point!
If you’re already using PayPal as your online processor, you may want to consider PayPal Zettle for your in-person transactions.
PayPal NFC Payments
For most customers to pay with NFC via Google Pay, you (the merchant) need to have NFC-enabled hardware and a payment processor that accepts Google Pay transactions.
PayPal QR Codes
To accept PayPal payments via QR code, you can generate one from PayPal’s website and print it out yourself, or you can order table cards, wallet cards, or stickers (or a bundle of all three) from PayPal’s QR accessories page. When a customer scans your QR code using the PayPal app on their phone, they can transmit the amount owed directly to you from their PayPal balance.
Where Can You Pay With PayPal In Stores?
Any store that takes one of the previously described methods — PayPal cards, PayPal NFC payments, or PayPal QR codes — can accept PayPal. In the case of PayPal cards, this means any store that takes Mastercard.
Likewise, to accept NFC payments, merchants need to have the appropriate hardware — specifically, an NFC-capable credit card reader or terminal. Very few large retailers take PayPal QR codes, but some small business merchants may.
Major Online Stores That Accept PayPal
If you’re curious as to the online businesses that accept PayPal, well, the full roster is far too long to show here. Here are some major retailers where PayPal is accepted.
- Best Buy
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Playstation Store
- Starbucks (online)
Learn To Make The Most Of PayPal As A Business Or Customer
PayPal offers an almost dizzying array of payment tools for both consumers and merchants, and it’s likely we’ll see the features list grow even longer in the future. Will we see NFC support in the PayPal app directly or added support for Apple Pay? Currently, that’s an unknown. In the meantime, we can all appreciate the fact that the future has finally arrived, and we can actually spend our PayPal balances in stores — not just online.
If you’re looking into PayPal as a processing solution for your business, check out the following articles!