Culture

You'll soon be able to pay with Venmo and PayPal at your local CVS

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown little signs of relenting. In the meantime, PayPal and Venmo want to make your retail experience a little safer with touch-free code scanning.

A young bright girl in sunglasses pays with a paypal, pay for delivery upon arrival of the courier. People on the playground. Food delivery concept.
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Through a partnership with the payment tech company InComm, Paypal and Venmo QR Codes will soon work at 8,200 CVS stores throughout the United States.

If you're one of their users, you won't need to touch a receipt or keypad, and you won't be charged extra for the transaction as it only charges your associated bank account, debit, or credit card. The launch goes live in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the company.

QR Codes are germ-free — Back in May, PayPal discussed the ability to use QR Codes as a way to limit surface-to-surface bacterial and viral transmissions. This kind of rollout isn't simply a source of ease for people more comfortable with using PayPal; it has the potential to be beneficial to public health. The senior vice president of branded experiences at PayPal, John Kunze, stated at the time:

We know that in the current environment, buying and selling goods in a health-conscious, safe and secure way is front of mind for many people around the world. As the coronavirus pandemic has evolved, we have seen a surge in demand for digital payments to transition to include new and safe solutions for in-person environments and situations. Our rollout of QR codes for buyers and sellers incorporates the safety, security and convenience of using PayPal in person and enables ongoing social distancing requirements and safety preferences for in-person commerce.

Try it, for free — In addition to users not being charged with additional fees, one of the most practical aspects of this code option is that people don't need to buy any additional technology to conduct a transaction. All they have to do is use their smartphone camera on the printed or digital QR Code.

At this moment, the QR Code feature has been rolled out to 28 markets, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and others.

We'll probably see more of this — The launch to go live in CVS stores is just another episode of companies trying to experiment with more touch-free innovations. So far, we've seen Jaguar Land Rover's predictive touch infotainment system, an MIT robot disinfecting local food banks, and Moxi helping nurses and doctors out in hospitals with administrative chores, among other debuts.