PayPal Here: The New Smartphone Credit Card Reader

PayPal currently has more than 100 million registered users of their online payment system across the globe, and they’re now trying to revolutionize the way we pay for goods and services offline as well.

What is PayPal Here?

PayPal X Logo
PayPal Here is a new mobile card reader that can turn any iPhone (other smartphones will come later) into a cash register. The company’s plans were announced yesterday and the idea is that the service will completely change how we buy and sell goods. It’s currently being trialled by specially selected American businesses but should be available to everyone in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia as early as next month.
It’s going to be a bit longer until its available elsewhere, but Paypal Here is definitely going to be worth the wait.

How Does it Work?

PayPal Here might not look like much but it’s certainly a very clever piece of kit. It connects to the device via the headphone socket and is controlled by a downloadable app which is only available on the iPhone at the moment but that should change within months.
Card payments can be made in one of two ways. The customer’s card can be swiped through the attached device or the smartphones camera can be used to scan the card. The App also recognises cheques which can also be scanned via the camera. What a novel combination of old and new payment techniques!

What Does It Mean For Businesses?

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PayPal Here is going to be particularly useful for small businesses, as they’ll now be able to take payment in virtually any form. The fees are also cheap with a 2.7% flat rate for credit cards which is lowed to just 1.7% for a debit card.
It essentially offers all the same benefits as the online PayPal checkout to offline businesses around the world and is a massive help to companies whose revenue comes from both channels.

What Does It Mean For Consumers?

For the consumer it means there will be more ways to pay for goods and services. The cheaper payment process rates may also bring an end to minimum card spends restrictions or at least reduce them significantly.
We’ll also be able to pay by card in more small independent stores across the world. So if you’re on holiday in the Canadian Rockies and you want to pay for some gifts with your MasterCard it won’t be a problem (as long as they’re using PayPal Here of course).
And PayPal Here accepts payments from all major credit cards which is something that can’t be said of its competitors, Square and Google Wallet.
So it will be interesting to see whether the service takes off or not. There are certainly benefits for businesses and consumers alike, but that doesn’t guarantee its success.

Guest Post by 7elevenmedia

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