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Online financial transactions titan PayPal has started to allow merchants across the world to take payments using smartphones in a direct challenge to startup Square

SAN FRANCISCO: Online financial transactions titan PayPal has started to allow merchants across the world to take payments using smartphones in a direct challenge to startup Square.

The PayPal Here system uses a triangle-shaped “dongle” card reader that plugs into mobile devices to let people make purchases.

PayPal Here software also lets shopkeepers take payments by snapping a picture of a card with a smartphone instead of having to swipe it in the dongle.

“No business will ever have to say they can’t accept a form of payment,” PayPal mobile vice president David Marcus said while unveiling the new service at a press event at San Francisco’s famed Ghirardelli Square on Thursday.

The service from eBay-owned PayPal is a spin on one offered by startup Square, a brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

Square has been a hit with independent entrepreneurs and small businesses as wide ranging as masseuses and taxi drivers to farmers and bicycle shops.

PayPal, which also announced a major push into Asian markets, plans to capitalize on its dominant position as a global service for online purchases.

“We are going to aggressively push this out to our 100 million PayPal users around the world,” Marcus said. “We can accept any form of payment, short of barter.”

PayPal Here thumb-sized plug-ins and accompanying software for smartphones are free. Here was being rolled out for Apple’s popular iPhones with a promise that a version for Android-powered smartphones would be available soon.

PayPal will charge merchants a flat fee amounting to 2.7 percent of each transaction.

The California-based company enticed merchants to funnel money from sales into PayPal business debit cards that give one-percent cash-back rewards for purchases, ostensibly cutting transaction fees to 1.7 percent.

PayPal Here smartphone software for customers comes with social and shopping features including finding nearby participating merchants and automatically alerting shopkeepers to their presence in stores

source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-40168-PayPal-lets-shops-take-payments-on-smartphones

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