Skipping lines, getting food and parking faster, and having an easier commute seems like a dream to any Torontonian who has been trapped on a pedestrian-congested sidewalk with 15 precious work break minutes. This is what PayPal is promising.
Their partnership with parking, commuting, and restaurant apps, most of which are Toronto startups, aims to make navigating the city safer, faster, and easier. The question is whether this can be done.
A few choice apps are leading the way in cutting down waiting times and providing more accessible, faster navigation. Alexander Peh, PayPal Canada’s head of mobile, describes it as “building experiences,” by maximizing time and accessibility.
With the PanAm Games fast approaching, winding through the congestion of the city is more relevant than ever. All of these apps have the option to pay with PayPal, which means you don’t need your wallet for any of these. “There’s a wallet free future in sight,” says Peh. Whether that future is just around that corner, or still in need of more progress, is unclear, but these apps, along with PayPal, are leading in it.
1. HonkMobile: This app promises finding parking nearby without the angry meltdown or obsessive checking the time to see if the meter has run out. The app can instantly find parking closest to you, in the heart of downtown Toronto or anywhere else in the GTA. Plus, you can top up your meter from your phone in case that two-minute walk back to your car is just cramping your style.
2. Blancride: A carpooling app that’ll make paying for gas easier, and less awkward- none of that “oh, damnit, I’ve got no change on me.” Blancride lets you buddy up with other people going to the same location, and because it works with PayPal, you can pay for gas through a simple PayPal transaction.
3. Beck Taxi and Uber: These don’t need an explanation. Beck Taxi is Toronto’s most popular taxi service, and Uber is coming in close. But both have PayPal on their app, so you can pay through there, get a digital receipt, and not have to fret about not having the cash on you.
4. Grabb: This one is vital for anyone whose break at work was sucked up by waiting in line or being trapped behind someone on the sidewalk who’s taking a garden stroll through the city while you’re feverishly trying to get a burrito on time. Grabb has 30 locations in Toronto to choose from on their app; you can scroll through their menu, order food through your phone, pay it for with PayPal and it’ll tell you exactly how long it’ll take for your food to be ready. Yes, it is possible to have a lunch break that doesn’t involve inhaling your meal within 30 seconds.
5. Urbery: Another online food ordering service, but this one is for grocery orders. You can even use this app to have the groceries delivered to your door!
Last year, PayPal processed $46 billion in mobile payments volume, globally. And with more innovation pouring into the apps market, it’s no wonder that mobile commerce is rapidly on the rise. In fact, one out of five PayPal transactions is through a mobile device.
All numbers aside, though, these apps are helping to shrink the city, making navigating through it a less overwhelming and hectic experience.