PayPal has never completely redesigned its architecture. To be more specific, the PayPal wallet we see now is pretty much the same system PayPal has launched when it started 13 years ago. Pretty soon, a new Intelligent Wallet will be unveiled and the folks at SXSW 2012 will be the first people to get a glimpse of the future of PayPal.
Sam Shrauger, PayPal’s VP of Global Product & Experience, will be presenting a demo on this new intelligent wallet and he promises to show attendees that this new system will give users the ability to free, personalize, and share their digital money. Basically, users will have the ability to make their digital money work for them the way they want to. There’s not a lot of concrete imagery here obviously but it does sound pretty exciting. Fortunately, Shrauger has told us via the PayPal blog what we can expect from this seemingly revolutionary development in digital money.
Separating Purchase From Payment
One of the most exciting new features that will be included in the new PayPal wallet is the option to switch funding sources, change installment plans, and apply different sources of value after the actual purchase has occurred. This means within 5-7 days, you can still change your mind in terms of which funding source you will use to pay for your purchase, installment options, and sources of value like gift cards, loyalty points, airline miles, and more. If it’s still not clear to you what this feature can actually do, you can think about the fact that you can buy something from a store using your PayPal account, take what you bought home, use it, and have the luxury of having 5-7 days to change your mind about how you are actually going to pay for it.
Splitting your digital money in groups, setting rules by purchase amount, and tying specific payment instruments to specific merchants are now possible with the new PayPal wallet. This level of control over your money is like opening different bank accounts and signing up for different credit or debit cards but without all the time and effort required to do it. You can do all of it with one account once the new intelligent wallet drops.
PayPal is not just a tool to manage your money anymore. Personal lists now make it a tool for managing your entire shopping experience as it lets you create lists you want to purchase, compare prices, and of course, search for items. These lists will then have a second function as the PayPal wallet will alert you of the special deals and coupons for the items in your personal lists.
The Bottom Line
PayPal’s new intelligent wallet is not about replacing existing ways of payment, but it’s offering a more efficient way of managing digital money. The flexibility that this new intelligent wallet offers seems too good to be true. We can’t really say for now as the new features will only be rolled out in a couple of months, but we can all agree that it all feels like big change is coming in the world of commerce and digital life.