Mobile payments -- or, at least the idea of mobile payments -- aren't new. In fact, America is one of the last nations to get onboard, despite having millions of smartphone owners. Square was first to jump on this bandwagon three or so years ago, providing smartphone owners with a free, small dongle that enabled a credit card swipe to be registered into a phone or iPad and processed; it made small business easy again. PayPal has been handling online payments, and obviously, it feels that there is room for one more player in the mobile payment industry. Thus, the company launched Here. PayPal Here is a new triangular dongle that effectively does the same thing as Square, but with slightly fewer fees and compatibility with Android right out of the gate.
It's launching in a few markets to start, including Canada, the U.S. and Hong Kong. Other nations are sure to follow. As with Square, PayPal will give away the hardware portion in exchange for your business, but unlike Square, PayPal Here is making a major push to get into retail outlets like Home Depot. Basically, PayPal's thinking of Here as more than just a small business tool; they want it to replace those typical swiper kiosks you see everywhere already. They're going for the full monty.
Will it work? Maybe. PayPal is a huge name, but not a well-respected one. The company is battered with wide-ranging gripes about business practices, stemming largely from complains that it freezes accounts at random and always backs buyers (and not sellers) regardless of the claims. But then again, no one really loves credit card processing companies.