PayPal announced yesterday it will be entering the mobile payments arena with the release of its PayPal Here device.
The eBay subsidiary launched the service on Thursday in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Hong Kong. The PayPal Here is designed to help small businesses accept credit and debit card payments via mobile devices.
PayPal Here is a triangle-shaped card reader and mobile app, which the payments company says will allow merchants to accept payments by swiping cards with a fully encrypted thumb-sized card reader, or use a phone camera to scan and process cards and checks. With the release of Here, PayPal is taking on Square, Intuit and others who have already released mobile card readers for merchants. PayPal said its product has flat rate of 2.7 percent for card swipes and PayPal payments. Merchants are also given a business debit card for access to their funds and 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases. Square, whose one-inch-square card swipe device attaches to an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, charges 2.75 percent.
According to PayPal, merchants using the Here product can invoice directly from the mobile app. The company said the device is fully encrypted on the device before transactions are sent to the mobile app, which it said will prevent customer information from being compromised.