Review: PayPal Here card reader turns your business mobile


    Being able to take payment is critical to any business and if you’re operating an online store, chances are you take PayPal. But what if you’re buying and selling goods in-person, you need a way to take credit card / depit card payments, particularly if you’d like to stay all digital and avoid cash.

    PayPal first introduced mobile card readers a few years ago, but their most recent version is packed full of features and ready to take payment however your buyer prefers.

    Atop of the device runs a traditional mag stripe reader, perfect for those who still have old cards. Most people however, have been upgraded to the more secure chip and pin cards, for that, you simple offer the bottom of the reader to the customer, to insert their card and enter their pin.

    The newest addition is the Tap and Pay option, also known as PayWave or PayPass depending on your bank of choice. Having this convenience allows transactions to flow much faster, especially if the goods are regularly under A$100 as it doesn’t require a pin to be entered. Perfect for a pop-up coffee shop or a market stall.

    These transaction types, offered by a device you can fit in your pocket, are essentially the same as what customers are used to at a regular retail outlets with an EFTPOS machine. The difference with PayPal Here is that you don’t have to concern yourself with a merchant account, all the transactions flow through your business PayPal account. This means you get access to the same reporting functionality, regardless of where the transaction takes place.

    For those stores that have a drive-through, this could be a great solution to allow customers to stay in their vehicles and get the payment done quickly.


    The setup.

    To get up and running you power on the device and the display provides easy to follow instructions. First you pair it to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, download the app (Google Play or App Store) and sign into your business account.

    Here’s the gotcha.. you need to apply for a Here enabled account, even if you have already gone through the business verification. This process can take up to 2 business days and is frustrating if you want to get up and running quickly. With a little planning, you’ll be fine.


    Receiving money

    Once you Here enabled on your PayPal account, you’ll be ready to sign in to the mobile app and start taking money. When a transaction occurs, you simply enter the amount of the purchase, then get the customer to supply payment in whichever method they prefer with the reader. You’ll get notification the transaction is successful through 4 LEDs at the top of the reader that illuminate green, as well as an audible sound. With the payment complete, you’ll have the option to email them a receipt, text it, or if you have a mobile printer, print a copy for them.

    There’s no monthly fees for using the device, just a 1.95% transaction fee for card reader payments, and 2.9% + $0.30 for keyed-in card payments.



    Included with the PayPal Here reader, are 2 stickers you can display to let people know you take VISA, MasterCard and PayPal, complete with ‘powered by PayPal’ branding. These are a really great idea as it helps to give a more professional look to your mobile business, but also helps to alleviate the fear that a customer’s card is being run through a mysterious black card reader. Thankfully PayPal have also embedded the PayPal logo on the reader itself, as to distinguish it from sketchy device that would steal user’s credit card details.


    Price and Availability

    The PayPal Here mobile payment reader with contactless transactions, is available now from Office Works for A$149.00.



    For a device that measures just 6W x 46D x 133H mm and weighs 26 grams, it’s perfectly mobile and would even fit in the same pocket as your phone. To have the ability to take transactions out of a fixed environment and receive payment anywhere is a fantastic feature in such an affordable and portable device. The previous generation (without contactless payments) can still be found and is only $10 less, so why wouldn’t you choose this newer, more capable version.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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