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eBay Sees Mobile Payment Growth Offline

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- eBay (EBAY) sees growth in mobile payments pushing its PayPal service toward the offline world, as merchants begin to allow consumers to pay for physical goods with a wave of their smartphone at the cash register.

"You're going to see an aggressive move towards mobile payments in the offline world through the next few years," CEO John Donahoe said at a recent investor conference. "PayPal is the platform in which those rest and we feel very well positioned."

Merchants like Starbucks (SBUX) have already started to embrace mobile payments. The coffee chain uses PayPal's technology to let customers add funds to their Starbucks cards online, via a mobile app.

The business has also teamed up with startup Bling Nation to allow retailers to collect funds from PayPal through a customer's cell phone.

>>eBay Envisions Cashless Utopia

eBay intends to be at the forefront of helping consumers search for inventory in the physical world, Donahoe said. Last week, eBay acquired Milo, a local shopping search engine that helps consumers to find products in stock nearby.

Last month, eBay added a barcode scanning feature to its iPhone app, which lets customers scan products while they're in brick-and-mortar stores to see if the items can be purchased for cheaper on the auction site.

--Written by Olivia Oran in New York.

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