What is PayPal Here?

Posted by Andrea Baker on

← Back to Blog

PayPal has long been at the forefront of financial technology when it comes to online retailing, but that commitment has extended from the virtual to the real world with their ever evolving PayPal Here app.  Available for iPhones, Smartphones, iPads and Android tablets, PayPal Here allows retailers to accept payments via credit card, debit card and check.

PayPal Here is making serious headway in the retail world with over 1 million downloads due to its security, ease of use and connectivity with the wider PayPal system. Here are the top features of PayPal Here and how it works.

What it does

First launched in the US in 2012, PayPal Here is an app that allows retailers to receive credit card and check payments via their mobile phone or tablet using either swipe or chip card reader hardware. The app boasts a series of features including inventory management, multiple user capability, and sales reporting.  Free to download, it's easy to use and ties in with the greater PayPal system.

Accessing the software involves either signing up for, or upgrading to a business or premier account, downloading the PayPal Here app, and indicating which payment hardware you would prefer.


When PayPal Here was first launched the hardware was a simple mobile card reader which allowed merchants to swipe debit or credit cards for payments.

Still available, this thumb sized hardware connects to your smartphone or tablet via the audio jack. When you sign up for the PayPal Here app the first card reader is free and will be shipped to you, or alternately it you can purchase it for $15 at select retailers and then seek a rebate. Additional card readers cost $15, and the system works across iOS/ Android and Windows devices.

PayPal Here Card Reader

The PayPal Here card reader allows for easy transactions, without the need for a bank.

The second hardware option is the more advanced chip card reader. This connects via Bluetooth to your cell phone or tablet, and boasts a pin pad, chip reader, contactless and swipe capability, and accepts Apple Pay. It’s compatible with iOS or Android, and the benefit of the chip reader is it lessens the likelihood of fraud. But the price tag is heftier at $149 a unit. Merchants receive a $100 rebate if they process $3000 within the first three months.

Thinking of accepting PayPal Here in your store? Check out one of our secure tablet POS stands.

You can select your preferred hardware when downloading the PayPal Here App. Both also provide for keyed in card payments and offer the ability to take checks. The vendor simply photographs the check and it's added to the PayPal account. In addition, customers using the PayPal app can pay via PayPal, while vendors can also create and send invoices.

Additional hardware like tablet stands and receipt printers make this a solid point of sale system, particularly for merchants on the go like market stall holders.


Anyone familiar with PayPal in general will find the PayPal Here app intuitive to use. It allows merchants to quickly establish stores by adding inventory. This can be listed in categories, and accessed via type, top selling items, or frequently sold items. The database can then be quickly searched. Barcodes can be scanned via your device's camera, and users can also connect with integrated partners like Vend to create a complete point of sale system.

PayPal Here allows merchants to assign up to 1000 users, each with unique passwords. They can then to sign in to the store to make sales. Sales activity can be tracked, in addition to numerous other reports such as weekly, monthly or customized sales history. Reports can be exported via CSV file and printed or emailed for accounting purposes. Merchants can also customize information that is printed on receipts.

As PayPal is renowned for its security, it follows that PayPal Here shares this reputation and boasts end-to-end encryption.

To test whether PayPal Here is compatible with your device and operating system, you can run a quick app download and reader test.


The PayPal Here fee structure is one of its major benefits. The app is free to download and use, while the hardware cost is minimal. Meanwhile card processing fees are also fair. PayPal Here charges a flat 2.7% fee for swipe or chip payments, and payments via PayPal Check-in. Card payments that have been keyed in attract a larger fee of 3.5% and 15 cent transaction fee due to the higher risk of fraud.

Pros and cons

Pros - The security, ease of use and access to customer support are among the assets of this app. The sheer size of PayPal and its length of time in the industry mean any bugs are fixed swiftly and help is just a phone call away.

In addition, funds received are quickly available in a PayPal account. Users can also get a PayPal Debit card to use their funds directly, rather than transferring them to a bank account first.

PayPal Here And Smartwatch

Have a smartwatch? You can now use PayPal as your everyday payment method.

Cons - Occasionally the commitment to fraud protection can slow things down. There have been reports of merchants having their accounts frozen due to suspicion of fraudulent activity. Some merchants also note having funds deposited into a PayPal Account rather than straight into their bank creates an additional step and delay, with the transfer taking a few business days.

With over 1 million downloads, the popularity of PayPal Here can't be denied. It's a quick, simple, affordable system for vendors to get stores up and running with minimal expense.

← Older Post Newer Post →