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PayPal launches Chip & PIN mobile payment device

Payment provider PayPal has launched a card reader device that handles Chip & PIN and PayPal payments in Europe. The device will be available to select UK businesses over the coming months before becoming generally available this summer.

The firm launched the a magnetic strip version of the service in the US and several other countries in 2012. At the same time, it set up a team in London to create a version for Britain and other markets where Chip & PIN payments are standard.

Retailers can pair the device with their smartphone to accept secure payments wherever they trade, such as at a market stall, shop, restaurant, taxi or in a customer’s home.

“You use the app as your 21st century till: as well as taking card and PayPal payments, it allows you to send invoices and receipts wherever you do business,” explained Cameron McLean, Managing Director, PayPal UK.

He added that the product reflects the substantial amount of time PayPal has spent talking and listening to small businesses.

“They are the core of PayPal’s business and they’ve told us that they want a simple, secure way to take card payments anytime and anywhere they trade,” continued McLean.

London-based goat’s milk ice cream vendor Greedy Goat helped PayPal test and design the service. According to Mark Thomas, executive at Greedy Goat: “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. It means more people will enjoy our goats’ milk ice cream this year, which is great for our business.”

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, said that the UK is the logical place to start as it is PayPal’s second biggest market outside of the US with some 18 million active users.

“PayPal has taken pains over the PayPal chip and pin device, which was designed and built in the UK and over a year in the making,” she said. “But it will come with a price tag and this will need to be competitive given the solution is meant for small businesses. PayPal says this will be the case – it is not looking to make money from the device itself.”

Zoller added that 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.

“The market for these solutions is becoming increasingly competitive and PayPal Here is not the first of its kind in Europe, where the likes of iZettle, Payleven and mPowa have already launched. But  PayPal has an advantage in being an established, trusted payment provider with a high profile global brand.”

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