PayPal Makes On-The-Go-Payments Friendlier for SMBs

When you think about all the apps you could download for your phone, far too often we think about apps like Angry Birds or Words With Friends. But sandwiched between those time wasters are apps that can help you run your business and remove friction from the customer touch points that hold you back. And last week PayPal announced a new app that small business owners are going to want to be familiar with. It may actually change the way you do business.

The new app is called PayPal Here and it allows SMBs to accept mobile payments on-the-go through the use of a card reader and their iPhone or Android’s camera. And it already appears to be off to a huge success, reporting 1,000 signups per hour during it’s first 24 hours of existence!

If you’re familiar with the Square app for the iPhone, PayPal Here works relatively the same. It features a triangle-shaped dongle that attaches to your smartphone via your microphone jack. From there, merchants can swipe a consumer’s credit card and use the app to make the checkout process painless. If you don’t want to swipe the card or you don’t have your attachment handy, you’ll also be able to use the “Scan Card” feature which will allow you to take payments by scanning the credit card’s number with your camera’s phone.

Through the app, SMBs will be able to accept debit and credit cards, checks, PayPal, track cash payments, and even email invoices to customers. Once the transaction is complete, funds will be immediately available in the merchant’s PayPal account. Merchant’s will also have the option to withdraw funds on the spot with a PayPal merchant debit card that gives 1% cash back. It’s everything a SMB owner needs to do business while on the go.

Still want more information? Check out PayPal’s demo video:

The fee for the app and card reader? None. However, merchants will be charged a flat rate of 2.7% for card swipes and PayPal payments.
To give the app a try, you can head to Apple’s App store and give it a download. The Android app isn’t currently available but PayPal says it’s on its way, though no timeline was given. For more information on how to sign up, head to

What do you think? Will you give this app a chance? For smaller retailers and SMBs who do business on the go, this kind of technology may be just the thing they need to make the transaction process easier. Or, if you’re a small business owner who shied away from certain marketing opportunities because accepting payments was an issue, you just lost your best excuse.


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

7 Reactions
  1. Sounds really useful, but I can’t see it outselling Angry Birds! 😉

  2. Retail is changing in a big way due to the phenomenon of smartphones. As we move into a world where consumers browse apps more than desktop internet retailers must embrace this technology or get left behind.

  3. While Square and Intuit’s GoPayment have been doing this for quite some time, the brand recognition (and trust associated with it) of Paypal will get them a lot of traction in this competitive space. For me, it seems like a great fit since I use Paypal already (though I would have to wait for the Android app to come out).

  4. Martin Lindeskog

    Lisa: I would give this app & dongle a chance. It is perfect to use at a bazaar, outdoor market, tea or other beverage tasting, etc.

    I agree with Robert regarding the brand recognition. I like and trust PayPal.

    Have you heard about iZettle? It works with chip-cards payments for extra security.

  5. Wow this is a direct attack on Square – fascinating! And by offering a 2.7% fee, they’re undercutting Square’s 2.75% by just a tiny bit.

    It’s definitely a smart move for Paypal, but Square seems to have established itself pretty well as a front-runner in this space, so I’m curious to see how it turns out.

    I actually am going to recommend this to my nutritionist. For a long time she’s only accepted cash and checks, and just recently added a Paypal option. This would definitely make it easy for her to start incorporating debit/credit card payments.

  6. This form of payment seems to be more practical than going every time to one’s PC or lap-top to make a paypal transaction, this thing is VERY practical.