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First released in 2012, PayPal Here was part of the mega-company’s push to extend beyond the online realm by offering a face-to-face processing solution for real world retailers.
The result is a simple payment processing app accompanied by a choice of card readers that allows merchants to easily take payments in person.
Now available in the US, UK and Australia, PayPal Here has attracted millions of downloads worldwide, providing merchants with an easy way to track sales, input merchandise and accept payments from credit, debit cards or via cash and check on their mobile device.
Retail features include:
• Payments in person, via invoice or online
• Product input
• Customized receipts
• Basic reporting and analytics
• Basic employee management and permissions
PayPal Here is a payment processing app that can be used by business large and small with basic inventory management and sales reporting included, but it is not a comprehensive point of sale system that caters to detailed inventory, customer relations and staff scheduling.
It is targeted at any business that accepts payments via credit card, debit card, cash or even Google and Apple Pay, and is designed for small operators like sole traders or market stall holders right through to large businesses "with fleets of staff".
Up to 1000 secondary users can be registered on a single PayPal Here account free of charge, but if they're using additional card readers these will need to be purchased.
In short, it provides a way to accept payments and offers limited reporting and inventory management.
If you're a retailer with comprehensive POS requirements, PayPal Here has paired up with reputable providers like Lavu (for restaurants) and Vend (for retailers) to offer comprehensive point of sale solutions using PayPal's payment systems.
PayPal Here offers efficient, fraud protected payment processing backed by PayPal's years of experience in the e-commerce realm and supported by affordable hardware, with minimal ongoing fees.
Available for Apple and Android devices, PayPal Here is PayPal’s business point of sale app that allows merchants to take payments online or in person.
The app allows you to set up and customize your business profile, create product lists, assign employee permissions and track sales and reporting.
It enables merchants to take payments in person using a card reader.
PayPal Here works in four simple stages: First you establish a business account, then apply for PayPal Here online. PayPal confirms your identity, and you download the PayPal Here app. At this point you buy the card reader which allows your business to take payments in person.
In the US there are four types of card readers available, while in Australia the chip card reader is the only available option:
The mobile card reader – This card reader is inserted into the 3.5mm audio jack of a tablet or smart phone. It accepts magstripe payments from major credit and debit cards.
The chip and swipe reader – This reader connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to your mobile device, allowing merchants to accept major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards, and Samsung Pay.
The chip and tap reader – This reader allows businesses to take tap-n-go along with magstripe and chip payments, and works accepts major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards, Samsung Pay, and contactless payments like Apple Pay. It also connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to a compatible mobile device.
The chip card reader – The largest of all four options, this card reader features a pin pad and connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to suitable mobile devices. It accepts major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards, Samsung Pay, and contactless payments like Apple Pay. (This is the only options available in Australia).
The PayPal Here app is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices, and can also be accessed on desktops via a webserver.
In addition, PayPal notes:
“PayPal Here is currently available for iOS (iPhone 3GS and later) and optimized for iPad devices running iOS version 5.0 and later.
It is also available for Android smartphone platforms. In order to run PayPal Here, an Android device must include the following specifications:
• Android version 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) or later
• 3.5 mm headset jack with microphone
• Support for Location Services
• Internet access (via Wi-Fi or cellular data network)”
In addition to card readers, PayPal Here also offers additional hardware via its partners, including card reader stands, cash drawers, and wireless, USB or ethernet-connected receipt printers.
PayPal Here allows you to take payments online, in-person using the card reader and your smart phone or by sending customized invoices.
Online: Customers can pay by PayPal, PayPal Credit (if they have credit approval), credit cards, debit cards, and Venmo.
In person: Customers can pay in-store or on-the-go by credit card, debit card, and contactless payments like Apple Pay.
Invoice: You can accept major credit cards and debit cards, PayPal, and PayPal Credit while invoices and payments are tracked in one place.
Refunds are readily handled within the Sales Activity section of the app.
To issue a refund, merchants tap the Settings > Sales Activity > Sales History.
They then find the transaction they want to refund, tap it, and select Refund. Merchants can refund the entire amount or just part of it and can print a receipt or send confirmation to your customer via text or email.
PayPal Here handles discounts with a discount feature that is turned on or off within the app. This allows merchants to apply discounts during checkout.
Users can email or SMS receipts to their customers for all sales, refunds and cancelled sales. If the customer has lost the receipt, they can easily reissue one at any time.
Users can set up PayPal Here to calculate tax on all sales according to local tax rates using their online merchant account. Or, they can set up taxes using the app.
When the Tips feature is on, hospitality providers can add a gratuity to any transaction. Suggested tips can also be input to simplify the process for your customers.
PayPal Here lets users easily create items for sale, assign options to those items, and then create categories and lists.
To input inventory: Select Settings > Item Catalogue
To list items for sale: Select Items - users can then upload a photo and list individual item prices, or edit an existing item. By clicking options, users can also assign variations to the item to offer flexibility on colors, and different prices for different sizes.
Users can also assign categories to help keep items organized. For example, they can create separate items for drinks, food, t-shirts, footwear etc. This feature allows users to search for items, and ring them up quickly.
They can also create a list of top-selling or frequently sold items, so they show up quickly on the POS.
In addition to managing items in the app, they can be managed on a desktop using the PayPal Here tile.
Multiple users can be assigned to a PayPal Account using the iPad app or via a desktop computer. To add users:
Go to Settings > User Management > Add User then fill in the required fields before assigning a new username and password. You can then select all the permissions you wish that user to have like whether or not they can issue refunds, view account information, or alter the business profile. Once complete, select Done.
This then allows the business owner to track sales activity back to individual users, and up to 1000 users can be added.
Users can be removed or their permissions can be edited in the User Management area.
Unlike other POS apps, PayPal Here doesn’t offer too much in the way of customer management by itself, although users can input customer details, which can then be used for marketing externally or using further PayPal business services.
To add customer details, users simply input the information (e.g. name, contact number) after they have processed the transaction:
To do this:
• After the receipt screen, tap Add Customer Info
• Enter the customer’s contact information such as name, email, phone, company name and address
• Tap Done
Customer contact information is now be available from the sales record in sales history. Users can also go into any transaction in the sales history and add the customer information.
Sales can be reported on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis, or by a customized time period. Merchants can also summarize sales by date, salesperson, payment type and item purchased. They can then be printed, emailed or exported to CSV file.
To generate reports:
Go to sales activity within the app under settings. The initial sales report will show the current day’s activity. Then swipe left for the previous day. To change the time period, touch the daily label at the top of the screen, and change the view to weekly, monthly, yearly, or select a custom date range.
For more information about a specific time period, tap view details on the main sales summary page, which allows users to see sales grouped by payment type and the volume of each item sold. To see transactions by user, touch the user’s name.
In addition to offering the PayPal Here simple POS app, PayPal also integrates with more comprehensive Point of Sale providers, acting as a payment processing solution while their partners take care of retail and hospitality business management.
POS partners they integrate with include:
• TouchPoint io
• BrightPearl POS
• Touch Bistro
PayPal Here does not have monthly account charges. Instead, it commands fees from all transactions made using the app and card reader. These fees vary depending on the type of transaction.
The card readers also have a cost and can be purchased directly from PayPal when users download the app.
• 2.7% per US card swipe
• 3.5% + $0.15 to key in cards
• 2.9% + $0.30 to invoice
• 1.5% for cross-border transfers
• Contactless and Chip and PIN card payments 1.95%
• Swipe payments 1.95%
• PayPal invoices 2.6% + 0.30c per paid transaction
• Manually entered card payments 2.9% + 0.30c per transaction
In the US, PayPal offers the first mobile card reader free when users sign up for a PayPal Here account. Additional mobile card readers cost $14.99.
Meanwhile, the more complex card readers command a higher price tag.
Chip and swipe reader - $24.99 (accepts magstripe cards and, for added fraud protection, chip cards).
Chip and tap reader - $59.99 (accepts magstripe cards, chip cards for added fraud protection, and contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay).
Chip and tap reader with charging stand - $79.99 (accepts magstripe cards, chip cards for added fraud protection, and contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay).
PayPal chip reader with pin pad - $99.99 (accepts chip cards, traditional magnetic-stripe cards, and contactless payments like Apple Pay or Google Pay).
In Australia, the chip reader with pin pad is available for $99 and can be purchased online at PayPal.
PayPal has a fairly extensive support network including the ability to call the company directly to receive live help.
Meanwhile, users can also Visit the Help Center to check out PayPal Here FAQs or ask the PayPal community.
In-app help is also available so users can troubleshoot directly from the PayPal Here app on your compatible smartphone or tablet.
For sole traders or merchants looking to implement a simple point of sale, PayPal Here offers a great payment processing solution. Affordable, and offering clear fees, with no ongoing monthly commitment, it allows merchants to quickly set up a store and sell in person.
However, for established retailers or restauranteurs seeking a comprehensive point of sale with advanced inventory management, PayPal Here is better utilized in conjunction with its POS partners like Vend or Lavu.
In terms of reviews, users positively commend PayPal Here for its ease and convenience along with its ready integration with bank accounts, and helpful features like customer searches.
On the flipside, some users complain about the payment verification system, which can potentially delay the fulfillment of their transactions.