Pay on the Go
While ecommerce has launched many millions of businesses with no stores, factories or other premises, there has largely been a disconnect between them, earning money in via online stores, and real world businesses, used to dealing at events, from stores and other places.
PayPal is now giving those small businesses used to working behind the safety of PayPal's services the chance to go out and there and earn money on the mean streets. PayPal Here is a smartphone app and a dongle that can read credit cards, take the right amount and send off a receipt/invoice from the most basic of phones (it currently supports Android and iPhone).
The Finance Science Bit
Deducting a 2.70% percent fee from each transaction, PayPal earns its money the usual way. For users who were perhaps worried about trading outside the safety of the net, that should be a small price to pay, they can now do so with a smart and simple app (both that and the card reader are free) to guide them, plus the security of PayPal's systems that they are already familiar with.
Sure, there are lots of other ways to get paid including rival onlineservices like Square and Google Wallet, but for those put off fromgetting a bank trading account, it provides a small and unobtrusive way to get trading. The app can also be used to scan checks and put tips on food bills.
The Future of Shopping
With NFC and other services looking increasingly like they have stalled, perhaps services like PayPal Here will represent an easier way for small business to trade outside of their website. It will become especially useful at trade events, fairs and festivals, where payment infrastructure can be highly unreliable. The service is launching now in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Hong Kong with other territories to follow soon.
Any PayPal user can also pay at one of these terminals without touching their phone or card at the till. Just by checking in with the PayPal app in the area and telling the cashier you want to pay by PayPal, their reader app will recognize you (or rather your account) and can deduct money from your PayPal account, leaving you only needing to check and confirm the transaction details.