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PayPal lets Brit 'burb-dwellers buy stuff using their ugly mug

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PayPal has launched a trial of a new payment system which will allow British shoppers to buy stuff using just their face and their pocket fondleslab.

The virtual purse provider has allowed retailers based near its headquarters in teh swish suburb of Richmond Upon Thames, London, to sell stuff to customers using just the PayPal app.

Anyone using the app for iOS, Windows OS or Android can see which nearby shops accept PayPal. Shoppers then check into the shop by "sliding a pin" down in the app. The person behind the counter then verifies their identify, confirms the sale and the customer can walk out with their new stuff.

Some 12 shops in the Richmond area are trialling the system, but PayPal hopes to roll the new system out to 2000 shops by the end of 2013.

"PayPal first brought 'pay by mobile' to the UK high street two years ago," said Rob Harper, head of retail services at the payment firm

"Through our Richmond initiative, we're pleased to help local businesses of all sizes offer a new more personal experience, while never having to turn away customers who don't have enough cash on them to pay. Now locals in Richmond can leave their wallet or purse at home and be the first in the country to use their profile picture to pay.

"This is another step on the journey towards a wallet-less high street, where customers will be able to leave their wallet or purse at home and pay using their phone or tablet. We predict that by 2016 this will become a reality."

The Richmond-based business which are trialling the system include Cook & Garcia, The Farmery, The Tea Box, The Bingham Hotel, Revolution, Caffé Paolo, The Cedar Coffee Shop, Urban Diner, Pier 1 Fish and Chips, Noble Jones, Hill Café and Knot Coffee and Pretzel.

Thousands of retailers use a "check in to pay" system in the US, Australia and in the Asia Pacific region.

Richard Garcia, co-owner of the Cook & Garcia "artisan" cafe, said: "We've been using PayPal's check-in service within the business for several months, and have found it really efficient.

"Customers don't have to worry about having cards, cash or change, just their phones. It is the quickest transaction through the till, which means less queues and we never have to turn down a sale, both of which are great for business."

Thousands of businesses in Asia, America and Australia already use PayPal's new check-in payment service. ®

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