The first major competitor for electronic payment service Square has arrived. PayPal announced ‘PayPal Here’ which allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment.
This is a service that includes an app and an encrypted thumb-sized card reader which will turn any iPhone — and soon, Android devices — into a mobile payment solution.
The service promises to give more choices for merchants than any other product in the market today. Similar to Square, merchants can complete purchases by swiping cards using the card reader or by manually entering card information into the app. However, PayPal Here can accept payments by scanning cards and checks using their phone cameras, a feature not available from Square. It can also send invoices and set payment terms directly from the app itself.
Those who downloaded the recently updated PayPal Mobile app for iPhone will also be able to find nearby vendors and businesses that use PayPal Here.
The service offers a fee structure with no monthly account or set-up fees. Merchants simply pay a flat rate of 2.7% for card swipes or PayPal payments or 1.7% for a debit card payment. Merchants will receive a business debit card for quick access to cash and 1% cash-back on eligible purchases.
PayPal Here is currently available at select merchants using the iPhone in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong. General availability will reach those countries next month. The Android version of PayPal Here will also be available next month. PayPal will announce the availability of the service to other countries soon.
Businesses can be put on a wait list to receive PayPal Here by signing up on its website.