PayPal declares 'death to the cash register'

The digital payments company's Cash for Register programs will waive fees on up to $20,000 worth of transactions per month, from July 9 through January 2014.

PayPal has officially launched its six-month competitive switch-out program that encourages small businesses to trade in their old cash registers in exchange for tablet-based point of sale (POS) solutions.

Under the Cash for Registers program, PayPal is waiving the transaction fees for up to $20,000 worth of transactions per month from July 9, 2013, through January 31, 2014.

To take advantage of the offer, small retailers will have to invest in either the PayPal Here application (along with approved hardware to run it) or in a pre-assembled solution from one of the company's preferred partners, including ShopKeep POS or Vend. To participate, they need to submit the appropriate proof of purchase. The offer applies to credit card, debit card, and PayPal payments processed through the new tablet POS system.

The deadline to apply is September 30, 2013, with this caveat: The offer will only cover the first 10,000 qualified retailers.

"Moving forward, we plan to extend this program to include more partners, including acquirers and POS vendors, to make this new initiative mutually beneficial to everyone we work with in providing these valuable services to small businesses," wrote Carolyn Groobey, vice president of global products for PayPal, in a blog post about the new program.

In a related announcement, ShopKeep POS said it will charge a fixed rate of 2.7 percent for transaction processing — that compares with the 2.75 percent rate that Square typically charges, according to the company.

ShopKeep's tablet POS solution — originally developed by a small business owner frustrated with his options — is used by approximately 6,500 merchants in all 50 states.

"Our promise to our merchants is to build out our products in a way that offers choice and flexibility," said Jason Richelson, founder and CEO of ShopKeep. "PayPal as a credit-card processor expands the range of processing options our merchants have to choose from, because different types of merchants need different types of processors."

Updated to clarify starting date for promotion.