PayPal today announced Here, a mobile payments system that will allow small businesses to accept payments through a smartphone.
Much like Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's service Square, PayPal Here accepts debit and credit cards via an encrypted, thumb-sized card reader. It also can use a phone's camera to scan and process cards or checks.
The concept is simple: customers get to use their preferred mode of payment; merchants get to accept exactly that, plus invoice directly from a mobile app; PayPal makes money (2.7 percent; Square is 2.75 percent) by using its traditional web-based service as the anchor.
PayPal is billing their service as the world's first global mobile payments system, a dig at the more popular Square, which as a startup does not have the scale to match. It will be available on Apple iOS and Google Android devices.
There's no question that PayPal has significant weight to throw around in this arena; what must be proven is merchants' willingness to adopt the device. Based on Square's reception, retailers seem to have interest in the technology -- the question is how many dongles (and accounts) they care to have on the way to generating revenue in unlikely places.
This post originally appeared on SmartPlanet's Smart Takes blog.
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- Time for retailers to check out self-checkout technology
- Jack Dorsey's design strategies for Square
- Google introduces Wallet; brings NFC tech to cash register
- How mobile tech is changing the retail experience
- Visa In2Pay: payments on-the-go, using your smartphone
- Square brings swiped credit card transactions to your smartphone; aims for small business
ZDNet stories about mobile payments:
- PayPal will be a force to be reckoned with in mobile payments
- PaySimple eases electronic payments, cash-flow management
- Apple wins patent for E-Wallet
- Isis beefs up digital wallet with new providers
- American Express and PayPal go head to head with Facebook payment apps
- Opera aims to bring mobile payments to 'all devices'