It’s probably the world’s most commonly-used electronic fund transfer service today, has been around now for an astonishing sixteen years, and can be used to pay for goods and services in both the virtual and the real world.
It also happens to be the service which turned rival Internet financial services company X.com and its founder Elon Musk — who changed his company’s name to PayPal after acquiring the fledgling PayPal system in March 2000 — into billionaires. The same Musk who, in 2004, helped co-found Tesla Motors.
So it seem fitting in some way that PayPal the company, which has long offered its own visitors and employees electric car charging at its San Jose, California headquarters, has become the latest way of paying for a public charging session on the ChargePoint network.
As ChargePoint announced on Monday in an official press release, PayPal is now accepted as a payment option for its charging stations across the U.S., with users who opt to pay for their charge session via Paypal prompted to enter their Paypal username and password from within the ChargePoint smartphone app.
While ChargePoint says over half of its 19,000 installed charging stations across the U.S. are free to use, those which do levy a can now be paid for using Paypal as well as a credit card.
In addition to adding an extra layer of convince for those who don’t like to pay for goods and services using credit cards, the inclusion of PayPal payment also adds an extra layer of security for those who are wary of using their credit card details online. Because PayPal is currency agnostic, it should also make it easier for those who are visiting the U.S. and don’t have a U.S. bank account to pay for public charging while driving a rental car, for example.
“With PayPal as a payment option, it’s even easier for drivers to plug in to a ChargePoint station,” said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint’s CEO. “Combining the largest network for EV charging with a leader in digital payments means that more drivers can make the switch to electric.”
Like many other EV charging systems across the world however, ChargePoint requires users to ‘charge up’ their own ChargePoint account balance with a minimum $25 deposit before they can pay for charging on the network. As with credit card payments,
eBay PayPal users can transfer that $25 direct from their PayPal account to their ChargePoint account from ChargePoint’s smartphone app, whereupon the funds are used to pay for any public charging sessions logged on the account.
Do you welcome the idea of using PayPal to pay for your electric car charging? Would you prefer a different method, such as RFID or contactless payment? Or do you prefer patronising places and businesses which offer complementary charging instead?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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