PayPal’s mobile payment service will go live in Europe with a funky new card reader


Credit: PayPal

PayPal(s ebay) is bringing its Here mobile payments service to the U.K., but its familiarly shaped triangular card reader will not be making the journey over the Atlantic. Instead PayPal is launching a new device that better fits the point-of-sale policies of Europe: a card reader with a numeric keypad for entering a key code.

Rather than fit into the headphone jack of a smartphone, the new reader pairs to the an iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth. And instead of swiping the card’s magnetic strip, the card is inserted into the reader so it can access the smart-chip embedded within typical European debit and credit cards, while the keypad is used for entering the customer’s PIN.

PayPal plans to showcase the new reader and service at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, but U.K. merchants will have to wait a bit before they can get their hands on Here. According to PayPal’s blog, the company will roll out the service to select U.K. businesses in the coming months, after which it will launch nationwide. Following the U.K. launch, PayPal will roll out Here in other European countries, though it didn’t identify any by name.

The company faces stiff competition in Europe, with local rivals including iZettle, Payleven, mPowa, Adyen and SumUp.


Boštjan Fabjančič

A solution with the additional hardware is never a good solution …

Richard Spalding

Ok, so this is innovative why? It enables cashless transactions via chip and pin. But most UK banks offer cashless transactions via contactless (nfc) cards. So this is a step backwards for transactions under £20.

Kevin Fitchard

Hi Richard,

This solution is mobile. You’re carrying around your point-of-sale machine with you and connecting back to the network with your smartphone.

Philip Charles Cohen

A PayPal NFC card reader for Europe? But, John “Not For Commerce” Donahoe has said that NFC is “not for commerce” …
And the ugly reality for consumers, particularly smaller payees, dealing with the clunky, unscrupulous PayPal …

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