PayPal bringing mobile payment service to UK this summer

By Danny Palmer
22 Feb 2013 View Comments
Paypal Here device transaction

PayPal is set to launch a chip-and-pin-based mobile payment service in the UK later this year, the firm has revealed, ahead of showcasing the technology at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

This statement comes after the eBay-owned PayPal announced that it would increase its focus on mobile after payments from smartphones increased hugely during last November's ‘Cyber Monday'.

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Named PayPal Here, the service was introduced in the US last year and will launch in the UK this summer following a trial "available to select UK businesses over the coming months" before moving into mainland Europe.

It works by combining a downloadable PayPal Here app and a card payment machine, allowing the retailer to accept payments direct to their PayPal account. Small businesses that have helped test run the application in the UK include The Greedy Goat, a goat's milk ice cream stall which operates in London Borough Market and other locations.

Indeed, PayPal is touting the device as being tailored towards small businesses, allowing them to accept payments using an Android or Apple smartphone and the chip-and-pin device.

"Cash is king in the market, but people run out of cash very quickly, and we often lose sales because customers can't face the long weekend wait at the cash machine. PayPal Here is the perfect solution for us, as it gives our customers the chance to pay by card, backed by the reassurance of the PayPal name on the machine," a spokesman for The Greedy Goat explained.

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum believes PayPal Here will be welcomed by small retailers.

"Mobile credit card reader solutions appear to address a genuine need in the market – an easy and convenient way for small businesses to accept card payments without having to invest in costly credit/debit card processing equipment," she said.

And while other mobile payment services such as iZettle, Payleven and mPowa have already launched, Zoller believes PayPal's reputation will ensure its success.

"The market for these solutions is becoming increasingly competitive and PayPal Here is not the first of its kind in Europe," she said. "But PayPal has an advantage in being an established, trusted payment provider with a high-profile global brand."

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