How PayPal Will Save You From a Zombie Attack (Video!)

PayPal envisions a day when you no longer carry a wallet and digital payments will be accepted everywhere — from the corner store to a Wal-Mart.

That day, in fact, is only four years off, according to its calculations.

But one of the major sticking points is convincing users that digital payments are better, especially since technologies, like pulling out a credit card and swiping it at the register, are easy and pervasive.

At a company event today at its headquarters in San Jose, PayPal provided at least one good reason: If you use PayPal’s digital payments, it can save your life during a Zombie Apocalypse.

In a video, produced by a member of its community, it shows how one survivor fled from zombies, but “it wasn’t because he was the brightest,” and “it wasn’t because he had the best tools of the trade.”… It was because he had signed up for PayPal.

PayPal allowed him to quickly pay for things by tapping his finger. For instance, in one scene, he escapes in a rental car after paying for it in one touch, and in another, he buys enough sodas from a vending machine to throw at his gory attackers.

The commercial is hysterically funny, but in an interview with Sam Shrauger, PayPal’s VP of global product and experience, he tells me there must be a serious reason for consumers to adopt new payment technologies.

Cool is not enough.

“All this talk about digital wallets misses the point,” he said. “It will have to be more than a wallet in a digital form in order for customers to care. … Tapping vs. swiping, I’m not sure that’s enough.”

PayPal’s definitely intent on coming up with the right recipe. Its payment strategy spans everything from online payments to carrier-billing and in-store payments.

Last week, it agreed to acquire Zong for $240 million. Zong has relationships with hundreds of wireless carriers around the globe to enable purchases to be attached to a subscribers’ mobile bill. By the end of the year, it expects to have point of sale trials in the store (in case of a Zombie attack).

To demonstrate its goals, it is asking five employees to use only digital currency to pay for all of their purchases for a week. The participants, which were announced at today’s event, get $1,000 in their PayPal account to participate. They must complete a list of scavenger-hunt-style tasks, like using their PayPal accounts to buy a bus token, and recording their journeys through a series of videos.

I think they’ll be buying a whole lot of stuff on eBay.

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