ONLINE PAYMENTS SERVICE Paypal launched a Chip and PIN service for businesses today that allows them to accept Paypal credit as well as transactions from credit and debit cards.
Dubbed Paypal Here, the pocket-sized handheld device that Paypal calls a "game changer for small businesses" will launch sometime this summer. Paypal hasn't announced how much it will cost yet, but it did say that it understands "the device will be under £100 to buy".
Paypal claims that following a good reception in the US its new Paypal Here service will benefit businesses in the UK by "saving them the hassle of taking cash and cheques to the bank" and helping them "make the most of connected commerce". However, in what is perhaps a downside for customers, Paypal said that the device will take a transaction fee of "less than [three] percent" from customers that use it.
"Paypal Here is a complete payment solution that allows any business to simply and securely accept Paypal, credit and debit card payments, log cash and cheques, even send invoices and receipts so they never miss a sale," Paypal said.
"There's no contract or on-going fees, just the initial competitive purchase price and a small fee for each transaction."
Paypal Here will be available to select UK businesses over the coming months before it fully launches in the UK this summer. The chip and PIN version will be available in other relevant markets after the UK launch.
But with many users experiencing issues with Paypal in January, where a payments glitch resulted in customers' payments being taken multiple times but not paid, the loss of trust in the service as well as the transaction fee might be too great for Paypal Here to see real success.
Analyst firm Ovum seems to think that the UK is "the logical place to start" the Paypal Here service, since it is Paypal's second biggest market outside the US.
"Paypal has taken pains over the Paypal chip and pin device, which was designed and built in the UK and over a year in the making," Ovum principal analyst Eden Zoller said. "But it will come with a price tag and this will need to be competitive given [that] the solution is meant for small businesses."
As Zoller makes clear, the market for payment services is becoming increasingly competitive and Paypal Here is not the first of its kind in Europe, where iZettle, Payleven and mPowa have already launched.
"But Paypal has an advantage in being an established, trusted payment provider with a high profile global brand," he added. However, we're not entirely sure that we agree. µ