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NFC Free: PayPal Release iPhone Credit Card Reader

By Tony Ibrahim | Wednesday | 21/03/2012

PayPal has launched an accessory that plugs into your smartphone and, along with an application, facilitates mobile credit card transactions.

PayPal claims the tool is ideal for small businesses, service providers and casual sellers allowing them to conveniently make credit card payments and PayPal transactions securely while on the go. It also enables merchants to process, manage and track payments.

The encrypted card reader itself is incredibly lightweight and is currently only compatible with Apple's iPhone, despite plugging into the generic 3.5 mm auxiliary port. However, an Android application is "expected for general release soon" enabling the same functionality for droid users.

The application acts as a mobile point of sale interface, compiling numbers on internal inventory and itemising company-branded invoices which can be distributed via sms or email.

There's no set up costs for the application and card reader with PayPal instead charging a fee per transaction. In the press release footnotes, the pricing is outlined as:

Merchants using PayPal Here will be charged a fee per transaction of 2.4% + 30 cents for swipe transactions, and 2.9% + 30cents for manual key-in and scanned transactions.


No new account is needed, just the linking of their Premier or Business PayPal account to their existing bank account. Once linked, payments are deposited immediately to a seller's PayPal account.

Brad Paterson, the Head of New Ventures, Paypal Asia Pacific said: "PayPal Here will provide Australian small businesses with a unique, convenient and easy-to-use solution to process payments while on the go. With no other solution of its kind in the Australian market, PayPal Here complements PayPal's online payment solution, by enabling merchants to accept payments online, offline and manage their entire cash flow in one place."

Currently rising Near Field Communication (NFC) technology allows smartphones to be tapped against a compatible chip for transactions below $100. PayPal's Here is an interesting solution that brings similar technology to Apple's iPhone, while ridding the transaction limit.

The swipe device will be free for any business owner who registers here within the first six months. 

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