PayPal has announced the launch of a new Tap and Go enabled version of its popular ‘PayPal Here’ Chip and PIN card reader. The PayPal Here app turns a smartphone into a complete payments solution, allowing businesses to capture every sale, regardless of the payment method. Coupled with the new PayPal Here NFC enabled card reader, it will allow businesses to accept card payments faster than ever. Moreover, this means that merchants will be able to accept mobile payments from systems like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
The new and improved card reader is heading to the U.K. and Australian markets first. The new card reader will enable businesses to accept contactless card payments from debit and credit cards and continue to support chip and PIN payments. With PayPal Here, businesses can also accept PayPal payments via PayPal’s Check-in technology, generate and distribute invoices, and send receipts.
Both the U.K. and Australia are ideal markets for the initial launch of the new card reader. There are about 58 million contactless cards in the U.K. itself, according to the latest figures from the U.K. Cards Association, with a whopping 319 million individual contactless card payments made last year. According to a report by Australian bank Westpac, contactless payments via mobile will reach a value of $3 billion in Australia by 2015. In Australia, mobile-based contactless payments have accounted for 60% of all debit-card transactions in the past 12 months.
The new card reader is also expected to come to the U.S. market later this year. The new reader by PayPal is something that merchants in the U.S. can look forward to adopting in order to avoid the liability shift issue. With this move, it's not wrong to say that PayPal is now one step ahead of Square in the U.S. market. Square does provide a card reader which can accept chip based cards, but doesn’t offer one yet which supports NFC.
With NFC based mobile payments systems like Apple Pay gaining increasing traction, PayPal has indeed made a smart move at the right time.