PayPal Here, PayPal’s Chip and PIN reader has a lot in common with the UK’s other leading mobile Chip & PIN card readers like iZettle and SumUp, but there are some differences in price, cards accepted and functionality that you want to know about before making a decision. We’ll look at how PayPal compares to the UK competition (Text continues below the table).
Read complete review
Read complete review
Read complete review
Read complete review
|Solution type||Contactless Chip & PIN reader + mobile app||Contactless Chip & PIN reader + mobile app||Contactless Chip & PIN reader + mobile app|
|Device price (upfront cost)||£62.5 ex. VAT||£59 £25 ex. VAT(link to offer)||£59 ex. VAT (link to sign-up)|
|Debit/Credit Chip card transaction cost||2.75% up to £6000 per month. Reduces to 1.50% for volume above £15,000 per month. Additional fees on foreign cards. Amex always 2.75%.||1.0–2.75% depending on volume (reduces from £2020 in monthly card transactions (calculate your rate)||1.95%|
|Swipe||3.40% + 20p||1.00–2.75% depending on volume||1.95%|
|Supported cards|| |
|Operating systems||iOS, Android||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
|Transaction limits||Minimum £1, maximum £150 for payments made via PayPal check-in. Other maximum limits not specified, but PayPal reserves its right to place reserves on the account or other "protective actions"||Minimum £1, maximum £200,000/day for business account, and £5,000 per card and transaction. £100 daily for transactions using the magnetic stripe.||Minimum €1, maximum limit varies individually.|
|Backup methods||Magnetic stripe reader, Manual entry||Magnetic stripe reader||Magnetic stripe reader|
|Device design & size||10.3 cm x 7.1 cm x 1.8 cm. OLED display. Weight: 118 g||11 cm x 7 cm x 2 cm. Brilliant OLED display. Weight: 130 g||7cm x 7cm x 2.5cm, OLED display.|
|Printer support||Android phone compatible printers and AirPrint for iOS||Supports several printers and AirPrint||Bixolon mobile thermal printer (optional), also supports Star Micronics SM-S220i mobile printer and Epson TM-T88V with UB-R03 desktop printer.|
|Product inventory||Yes, through app||Yes, can be edited through app or website||Yes|
|Settlement delay||Sent to PayPal account immediately. Withdrawn funds normally on the account within 2 hours. Not all funds might be available straight away.||3 business days in most cases||3 - 6 business days|
|Receipts||Print, email or SMS||Print, email or SMS||Print or email|
|Transaction overview||Statistics and sales overview in app and on PayPal account online||Great statistics and business analytics in app and on iZettle website||Yes|
|Multiple devices per account||Yes||Yes, for business accounts (not private accounts)||Yes|
Online payment giant goes mobile
Almost anyone who has paid online has used or heard about PayPal. With a 2015 revenue of £6.9 billion, PayPal is the industry leader in online money transfer. Founded in 1998, the company was acquired by eBay in 2002 then split in 2015. It operates out of San Jose, California. The UK is PayPal Here’s first attempt to penetrate the European mobile payment market, the UK already being PayPal’s second biggest market outside the United States.
How does it work?
PayPal Here allows small businesses to take payments anywhere. It is suitable for any business who would like a card reader with low initial cost and no monthly fees, but is particularly suitable for mobile businesses, such as food delivery services, market stall vendors and tradepersons.
You need to get one a PayPal Here card reader and download the free app to your mobile phone. The card reader must be connected to your mobile via Bluetooth. PayPal Here is available for Android phones, iPhone and iPad.
The standard chip & PIN PayPal Here card reader v.1 was launched in 2013. The v.2 card reader launched in mid 2015 also accepts contactless payments. Priced only £10 higher than v.1, one should not doubt to go for the contactless v.2 if one settles on PayPal.
As opposed to for example iZettle, which also has accounts for private individuals, PayPal Here is only for businesses.
- Cards supported: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express. If you also want to also take JCB and Diners credit cards, you are better served by iZettle.
- Accounting functionality: You can use the PayPal Here app to track payments, including cheque and cash, and issue invoices and receipts. You can also integrate with online PayPal payments and eBay sales. For vendors who already do business online with PayPal, this might be an attractive prospect.
- Device specs & design: The PayPal Here device is similar to what iZettle used to offer before it upgraded to the iZettle Reader in 2016. It is black and rather bulky compared to the sleeker iZettle and SumUp devices. PayPal Here’s old device had no ILED display, which is included in the current offer. Contactless payments are accepted.
- If you are an Android user, make sure it has Bluetooth 2.0 or higher. Samsung Galaxy users should be aware that PayPal Here does NOT work with many of the models, such as Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Ace Advance and Galaxy Pocket. Windows phones are not compatible.
PayPal Here charges and fees
- £39.99 including shipping to UK addresses for the Contactless card reader (the Chip and PIN reader without display is no longer for sale).
- Free mobile app, no monthly fees.
- 2.75% transaction fees using Chip and PIN and contactless, 3.40% + 20p for magnetic stripe swipe payments or manual input of card details. If your monthly card sales exceeds £6,000, the rate drops to 2.40%. Monthly volume above £15,000 qualifies for the best rate of 1.5%.
- American Express is charged at 2.75% regardless of sales volume (3.40% +20p if magstrip swipe is used)
- Additional fees for foreign cards, which can be a deal breaker for some businesses.
The rates above is the Blended Pricing structure. PayPal recently announced that they will provide customers with an Interchange Plus option by end 2016. This interchange plus fee structure contains two elements – the fee set by Visa and MasterCard, and the fee set by PayPal. We will update the review once the Interchange option is available.
The real advantage: PayPal and eBay integration
As we have seen, PayPal does not have the most competitive pricing model. Its device is slightly more expensive, and if your transaction volume reaches a certain limit per month, you do not get the benefit from the sliding transaction fees of iZettle. PayPal charges 2.75% for Chip and PIN regardless of monthly sales, while iZettle’s transaction fees drop to 2.55% for monthly transactions over £2500, and then down to 1.5% with £15,000 monthly revenues.
What does make PayPal an attractive option for some is the integration with existing online PayPal accounts, as well as eBay. If you already get a significant portion of your revenue through PayPal and/or eBay and like the sales tracking it offers, it can make life easier to be able to track mPOS payments as well.
What about customer service?
It is no secret that PayPal has received a lot of stiff criticism in terms of the performance of the company’s customer service.
It is too early to judge the PayPal Here UK team, having just been launched in August 2013, but the preliminary feedback is not great (see the account limitation discussion below). PayPal is a big operation with the processes to match. A strong point is their website, which gives answers to most questions customers may have when setting up and using PayPal Here.
If you need to talk to a customer service representative, you will be connected to their call centre in Ireland. We tested it out. After going through the sometimes painful automatic account verification process, we were served by a friendly customer service representative who seemed to know the basics, but was unable to answer more advanced questions.
The PayPal account limitation extending to PayPal Here
Many users of PayPals online payment service have gotten the dreaded PayPal email about their accounts being limited, and not being able to access their account, or withdraw money, until the “issue” has been resolved.
In the first six weeks after PayPal Here was launched in the UK, there were many reports of such account limitations being put in place after PayPal users downloaded the app for PayPal Here, leading to existing funds on the PayPal account being frozen for 10-30 days. We will continue to monitor this issue, and update the review as we get more information.
Receipt printer options
PayPal Here works with Star Micronics receipt printers that can be connected either via Bluetooth or WiFi depending on which model you choose. Star SM-S220i, SM-T300i and SM-T400i are portable receipt printers that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. The paper width is 57mm, 80mm or 112mm depending on model you choose. These printers also work with iZettle, and you can read our mobile printer review for more information.
There are two desktop options, one that connects via Bluetooth, Star TSP654IIBi and one via WiFi, Star TSP100LAN/TSP143LAN.
If you have decided from the outset that you need a receipt printer, you might be better off buying a bundle with the device and a printer that matches your need. Bundles with the PayPal Here card reader and mobile Bluetooth printer sell for £315 and up depending on the model.
- Can integrate payments from card (Chip & PIN, NFC contactless, swipe and manual entry), cash, cheques, PayPal and eBay.
- Easy to use, good user resources on the website.
- The best rate of 1.9% + 20p (£15,000 minimum monthly card payments) is not the best for high volume businesses. iZettle fees go down to 1.0% and SumUp offers a flat rate of 1.95% for any sized merchant.
- Interaction with customer service can sometimes be a pain.