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Neil Patrick Harris shows CVS Pharmacy customers how to shop safely with PayPal, Venmo


PayPal is teaming up with actor Neil Patrick Harris to help people shop safe amidst the ongoing pandemic, sharing his advice and tips to navigate in-store shopping in this new normal. 

With shoppers increasingly preferring digital payment offerings for in-store shopping, PayPal and Venmo recently introduced touch-free QR code payments for customers to safely shop at more than 8,200 standalone CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. To help shoppers follow safe shopping etiquette in-store, Neil Patrick Harris visited his local CVS to show shoppers how it’s done.  

“After my family contracted COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic last year, I know firsthand how important it is to follow safety protocols like wearing a mask and practicing social distancing to help contain and slow the spread of the virus,” Harris said. “Paying for everyday essentials touch-free with PayPal and Venmo QR Codes at your local CVS is just one simple way you can protect yourself, fellow shoppers and store employees as we navigate these challenging times together.” 

Harris offered the following tips and tricks to navigate in-store shopping in this new normal: 

  • Can’t touch this: Look out for touch-free payment options to avoid handling cash, touching keypads and signing receipts at checkout. You can safely and quickly pay touch-free with QR Codes at CVS using the PayPal and Venmo apps. Just click the “scan” button and then the “show to pay” option at checkout. It’s incredibly simple and backed by the trust and safety you’ve come to know from PayPal and Venmo. You can also pay using your preferred payment method within the PayPal or Venmo wallet, such as debit, credit or your balance.
  • Mask up: With splashes of color, fun patterns or even some bedazzling, not only can masks become part of your ‘outfit of the day’, but wearing a mask is one of the safest ways you can protect yourself and others, including essential workers, when shopping in-store. But be sure to check that your mask doesn’t have valves or vents and meets local requirements!
  • Avoid the crowds: Find some in-store serenity by avoiding in-store shopping at peak times like the end of a workday or on weekends and create a categorized list by aisle to spend as little time inside the store as possible. 
  • Sanitize those hands: Keep a handy bottle of hand sanitizer on you at all times, especially when you’re shopping in-store. And find your favorites! Many brands have different scents to try out, but always make sure the one you choose has at least 60% alcohol content to get rid of germs. Plus, make sure you’re regularly washing your hands with soap and water when possible. 
  • One way only! Aisle awareness: Look out for aisle markers that keep shoppers six feet apart or encourage one-way shopping through an aisle. There may also be designated entrances and exits to track store capacity, so make sure to read all safety signage and ask store employees for direction if you’re ever in doubt.
  • Mind your manners: Don’t forget to say, “thank you” and smize (smile with your eyes) while wearing a face covering. Small acts of kindness go a long way, and essential workers deserve them more than ever before!

To encourage his fans to practice safe COVID-19 shopping etiquette, Neil Patrick Harris is asking his Twitter followers to share ways they are shopping safely in-store, using #ThankQRC between Jan. 29 and Feb.11. Twitter users can enter for a chance to receive a surprise payment from Neil by tagging @paypal or @venmo using #thankqrc #contest (official Contest Rules can be viewed here).

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