You’ll discover many more opportunities to use your PayPal account next year at the Mall. The Discover card people have clinched a deal with PayPal whereby you can use PayPal anywhere Discover is accepted. Thus, PayPal will be squeezing into the brick and mortar marketplace dominated by Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards. Discover Financial Services, who runs fourth in the credit card race for merchant fees hopes to increase their footprint with the new partnership.

You can already use PayPal at Home Depot check out registers

You can already use PayPal at Home Depot check out registers

PayPal already is accepted for payment at such diverse stores as clothing, books, office supplies and home improvement. Home Depot has been accepting PayPal for some time at their check out stands.

Trendy clothiers Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch also sell children’s attire, and welcome PayPal money.

The more formal fashion wear purveyor, Jos. A. Bank collects payment for its wares from PayPal. The formal wear retailer has locations from New York to Cincinnati, Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona to Sacramento California.

PayPal, which has recently been popping up at retail stores, has been facilitating online purchases for 14 years. eBay is known for auctioning everything and anything on the Internet acquired PayPal in 2002. That move added to eBay’s revenue and currently provides almost half of the company’s revenue.

Credit card transactions handled by Discover lag far behind those of competitors Visa, MasterCard and American Express. They are hoping their PayPal connection will help remedy that. PayPal’s partnership with Discover will open the door to over 7 million new physical locations and as many shoppers who prefer the touch and feel of the merchandise to online images.

Merchants will be able to accept the new PayPal cards easily using the card swiping machines they already have on their counters. Customers can use the PayPal card at many new stores next year and promises for mobile device use later are being made. PayPal boasts 50 million active users in the US. PayPal Here currently allows businesses to process credit card payments with smartphones and, therefore, butts heads with the likes of Square available at Starbucks for payment of that frappuccino. PayPal struck back by adding McDonalds to its existing mobile payment service.

When you buy something using PayPal, the merchant is charged for the transaction, just as they are when you use any credit card. Locally it is usually 2.9 percent of the total sale and a 0.30 cent fee for each transaction. International sales cost the merchant 3.9 percent and another fee dependent on the currency involved. There is no fee to the PayPal customer.

When you pay at a cash register with your PayPal mobile number or card, store coupons and offers are automatically applied. Another bonus – the seller never collects your financial information. Your payment information is encrypted for security.

PayPal also allows users to transfer money from their PayPal balance or bank account for free when the money is sent within the US. A transfer to someone outside the country carries a small fee. The recipient need not have a PayPal account of their own, just an email address or a mobile number.

Current PayPal offerings are available for iPhone and Android. PayPal on-the-go 4.1.1 for the iPhone is available at iTunes. The Android version 3.4.0 is available from Google Play where it scores a 4.2 out of 5 from ratings by more than 35,000 users.

Soon shoppers will have a plethora of purchasing payment options. All they’ll need is a job and discretionary money to make it all worth while.