Fall 2014
Swipe for Sales

As customers increasingly rely on cards for payments, specialty retailers of all stripes turn to card readers to process sales.

As the pace of commerce increases, small businesses are relying on technology to keep up and to compete. One example of a technological advancement that is empowering small businesses is the card reader, which allows merchants to process credit card payments from a mobile device.

PayPal offers a small triangular card reader called PayPal Here that plugs into an iOS device or Android smartphone and allows merchants to swipe credit and debit card payments easily through the reader. Merchants can also manually enter the information into their mobile device using the PayPal Here app.

The app was updated in April 2014 with a cleaner, simplified user interface. In addition to a fresh look and feel, the app now includes a streamlined custom inventory entry system and the ability to swipe cards at any point in the order process. The PayPal Here app is currently available for the iPhone, iPad, and most Android smartphones – with further compatibility planned.


PayPal Here helps small businesses maximize sales opportunities by accepting multiple payment options. Unlike some of its competitors, PayPal Here allows users to send electronic invoices and record cash payments in addition to accepting PayPal payments and credit and debit cards. When using an iPad, PayPal Here offers barcode scanning for faster checkout and inventory listing capabilities – including categories – to help organize the items a merchant is selling.

Since most consumers now carry slimmer wallets with little cash and depend on debit and credit cards, card readers are necessary to help business owners offer their services to the broadest reach of consumers.  PayPal Here empowers individuals like food truck vendors, personal trainers, photographers and other small business owners. It gives them a fast, simple way to accept card payments and helps expand their business by opening the door to more customers.

PayPal Here can be used in many places around the globe with the heaviest footprint in the United States, UK, Australia and Japan. A study by PayPal’s research team shows that 54 percent of 2,500 small business owners surveyed believe PayPal Here has positively impacted their business. By being able to accept credit card payments, some merchants have quoted a 25 percent increase in revenue; 17 percent have seen higher sales volume.

Unlike other card readers, PayPal Here differentiates itself through customer service and the trusted PayPal brand name. PayPal offers a customer service support line that is available 24 hours a day to assist with any PayPal Here transaction while competitors often provide only limited customer service hours or a simple online community. And PayPal has been in the payment solutions business for nearly 16 years. Customers trust the PayPal name and the security of the transaction when they swipe their card and business owners can have peace of mind knowing that PayPal Here uses end-to-end encryption and an encrypted card reader to help protect cardholder information.  Plus, merchants using PayPal Here can leverage other benefits such as special offers and even geo-targeted advertising to further their businesses.

PayPal Here also gives merchants flexibility in terms of how they integrate it into their business. With PayPal Here, merchants can turn an iPad into a point-of-sale system by connecting it to the hardware they need — receipt printers, cash drawers or iPad stands, modernizing their point of sale technology and offering their customers the most ways to pay.

In line with standard transaction fees, PayPal charges 2.7 percent for each U.S. swiped or PayPal transaction. If a merchant chooses to use a PayPal Debit Card to make charges for their business, they will also receive a 1 percent cashback for each qualified transaction. Enrollment is required for the cash back program.


Nicole Murakami

Nicole Murakami is a freelance writer and works in digital marketing in New York City; she is available at
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