Payments may not be top of mind for retailers. But that’s likely to change over the coming few years as we experience the biggest revolution in the way consumers shop and pay for a generation.

The line between in-store and online payments is blurring, thanks largely to the arrival of the mobile phone, with a little help from PayPal. That represents an opportunity for innovative retailers to gain competitive advantage by giving their customers a faster and more convenient way to shop and pay.

The retailing winners from this brave new world won’t be those that rush to develop an app simply to claim a first. Instead, they’ll be the brands that understand how new technology can help their customers, reflecting their changing lifestyles and the growing influence of social networks and word of mouth. This is about the customer, not the technology.

PayPal can help retailers make sense of this new world. We’re the only payment method designed for the digital world, with over 98 million active users around the world. We see the future of money in the shape of the digital wallet, supporting the 50 billion devices expected to come online in the next 10 years. We’re creating a world where consumers can use their digital wallet anywhere, anytime – in store, at home, on the go – from any connected device, including mobile phones, tablet computers and even games consoles.

Change is happening fast. PayPal will be available at the point of sale this year, helping retailers further develop their multichannel opportunities. We can’t predict the future, but we can help our retail partners shape it.

Cameron McLean, General Manager, Merchant Services, PayPal UK