PayPal today announced Here, a mobile payments system that will allow small businesses to accept payments through a smartphone.
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.
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