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PayPal Here takes on Square through iPhone, Android soon

updated 02:40 pm EDT, Thu March 15, 2012

PayPal Here reader and iPhone app arrive

As leaked earlier in the week, PayPal has unveiled its own direct equivalent to Square's reader. PayPal Here's triangular reader lets anyone with an iPhone take card payments and, as expected, PayPal payments. It claims an edge over Square in sheer variety of payment types, supporting options like debit cards, manually entered or scanned card info, and even check scanning in the US.

A dedicated merchant app handles the transactions. An upcoming update to the PayPal app (App Store) will give customers both a way to find places that take PayPal Here as well as flag the store when they're ready to pay. Stores will only need to verify the name and picture to clear a sale at that stage.

The business model is similar to Square's in taking a 2.7 percent cut on each transaction rather than asking for up-front costs or monthly fees. As a possible edge, shops get their own debit card with a one percent cashback deal that can cut the rate to 1.7 percent.

PayPal Here is active now for Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and the US for certain stores. Everyone in those countries will have access in April. More countries will come over time, PayPal said, as will an eventual Android port.

The service isn't the first to try and challenge Square but is the first based truly closely around the startup's model. Both strategies focus on small or very mobile businesses that either can't justify the costs of a conventional payment system or which tend to operate in areas where they wouldn't have access to a plugged-in payment reader. PayPal has been experimenting with real-world payment systems at places like Home Depot, but it has been mostly left out of the space as Square and even establishment companies like VeriFone have entered the arena.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Wow. Ugly.

    What was the design brief for this thing, I wonder?

    "Whatever you do, don't make it look good. Give it some weird colors that totally don't go with the iPhone. Here, I just found some Viagras in my pocket, maybe that'll inspire you".

  1. Orbifold

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    Did someone stomp on it?

    your comment

  1. Haroscarfel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2007


    not much to look at, but

    I cant wait to put it to use. it will my payments soo much easier. no more checks!

  1. facebook_Philip

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2012


    PreyPal Here, where?

    And, just for a laugh, some analysis of "PayPal: The New Way To Pay In-Store", PayPal Digital Wallet, PayPal Debit MasterCard, PayPal Here, PayPal Local and Watch With eBay ...

    eBay / PayPal / Donahoe: Dead Men Walking

  1. facebook_Rye

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012


    There are better options...

    If 1) you don't like PayPal or 2) you don't like how this reader looks, then you do not have to content yourself with this. The good thing about the mobile payment industry is its growing fast and diversely. You can research more and choose the best system for your. Personally, I'm looking forward to the launch of mPowa. If you are in the UK or somewhere in Europe, you may want to go and check them out. I chanced upon their site at and from what I read they seem to be offering better features, options and rates.

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