Developed by PayPal, Beacon connects wirelessly to customers’ PayPal app and lets them pay without reaching for their phone or wallet. The device was designed for store-owners and plugs into any standard wall outlet.
The small device uses Bluetooth to communicate with user’s devices and those with the PayPal app can authorize it to check them into stores. The Wall Street Journal reports that customers simply need to give the store clerk a verbal sign after they’ve picked up what they want to purchase and then they can walk out of the store.
Some of the finer points, like whether customers will scan their own items or how merchants will distribute bags, still need to be worked out. Beacon will cost $99 or less and is expected to debut in some stores by the end of the year.