Small and medium-sized businesses is an essential catalyst in every economy worldwide. They contribute significant positive changes in the form of aggregate savings, employment, and investments which are indicators of growth. In spite of the positive contributions SMEs bring which positively affects the economic conditions of countries worldwide, one thing remains the same. Unlike well-funded companies, SMEs still do not get the support they deserve from most vendors. And since they lack the financial capacity to fortify their IT and business infrastructure, it takes a lot longer for them to finally make it big.
Most small and medium-sized enterprises rely on manual technology as well as a lean, multi-tasking staff to carry on their daily operations. While it may work, the fact remains that they are still susceptible to human error, plus, it doesn’t say much about the company’s credibility and public image if a reliable system is not in place. The lack of foundation and infrastructure somehow discredits companies and prevents them from capturing markets beyond what they are accustomed to.
Online payment provider Paypal is determined to change the landscape the retail payment landscape aimed specifically for small and medium businesses. This is what fueled the conceptualization and launch of Paypal Here, a mobile credit-card swiping machine and payment service. On March 15, 2012, Paypal introduced Paypal Here with a goal to go head-to-head with Square, a similar credit card-swiping device launched by Jack Dorsey. Paypal's wishes to extend the reach of businesses never before realized using traditional means, capturing both the likes of national retailers as well as small mom and pop stores. It's Paypal's way of reaching out to all market segments, regardless of size and category.
Paypal opens doors to merchants to securely conduct business anywhere, anytime. Paypal Here addresses the need of start-up, mid-sized, and large companies looking for additional means for more revenue. The system allows acceptance of credit and debit cards, checks and Paypal payments, apart from cash. In addition, the pocket-sized and fully encrypted triangle dongle facilitates secure payments from any location, using any mobile device such as smart phones, laptops and tablets, .
As a customary process, merchants need to have a Paypal account to be able to use the application. All a merchant has to do is sign up for a free credit card reader and download the free application from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to work seamlessly using any iPhone or Android device. Once the merchant has finished filling in the required information as part of the sign-up process, he will be notified if his application has indeed been approved. Once approved, Paypal ships the card reader to the merchant within 5 to 7 days.
eBay and Paypal’s President and CEO John Donahoe, didn’t have any qualms in comparing the product with the Square Mobile Card Reader. “This product is better. This product is backed by PayPal. It's backed by 100 million customers and one of trusted by payments brands around the world. We all knew this moment would arrive," he exclaims with pride. Clearly, Paypal wasted no time in running after the $4-billion transactions its rival Square generated the past year. But in addition to the online market Paypal currently handles, its aim is also to capture offline, physical transactions to serve all possible markets. David Marcus, VP of mobile at PayPal affirms such,"We’re actually going after offline business in a serious way."
But beyond swiping a credit card, Paypal Here offers benefits that outperforms Square in a lot of ways. It enables merchants to take pictures of checks or scan credit cards when the card reader is not available. Merchants can also keep track of all transactions which include, even cash payments. Paypal Here boasts of a simple and intuitive interface so merchants can create product and services inventory. Users can also add transactions and send invoices to customers, making operational processes efficient and on track.
Compared to Square’s 2.75% transaction fee, Paypal Here charges a slightly lower 2.7% and requires no set-up or monthly fees. The deal breaker is that it offers instant access to all sources of funds including a debit card for each merchant where one can draw cash. Also, a 1% cash-back will be given to Paypal Here merchants who have facilitated a successful sale. Such initiative is projected to earn Paypal Here a success rate reaching 1.7% from existing users of Paypal’s debit card as well as merchant services.
To further enhance the product, Paypal has released a geo-fencing consumer application which, when integrated with the card reader, allows users to locate and pay local Paypal merchants. When users are ready to pay, they can just notify merchants through their mobile phone or tablet. No wallet is required to do this; all a merchant has to do is accept the payment by validating the shopper’s name and picture. This is a great way for users and merchants to get in touch with each other. Users will then be able to notify sellers that they will be showing up to check out a merchandise. This is envisioned to serve the SME's needs especially now that globalization has created limitless market opportunities. It will be all the more lucrative for companies who use such service to achieve mobility, flexibility, security, and convenience in every transaction.
Such technology also enables users to check out and buy certain merchandise without the need for users to go to the counter. Transactions can be authorized or pre-approved through the use of facial recognition technology, making things more convenient and easy. It functions as a cash register, swiping machine, or POS mechanism which can facilitate credit and debit card transactions. In addition, Paypal Here also serves as a receipt and invoice tracking technology which opens a lot of potential in terms of sales.
Initially launched to serve the US market, Paypal expands its reach by introducing the service to Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada. They also have plans to launch the service to other countries in the subsequent months. This is a part of Paypal's plan to conquer the eCommerce space. Paypal, through Paypal Here, intends to capture all 100 million Paypal users worldwide by enticing them to download the consumer application and sign up for the free card reader.
With such a nifty device and a full-featured application to match, Paypal Here allows merchants to capture a bigger market without the need for expensive IT connectivity and gadgets to facilitate a successful and secure sale. The device can be taken anywhere and can be used as the need arises, which makes for a flexible and convenient tool that escalates revenues. Security is not an issue since Paypal utilizes an industry-leading security and fraud protection technology so merchants and their customers can feel confident knowing your payments are secure.
To-date since its launch, Paypal Here has been growing a lot of users. In fact, 17 million of Paypal’s current users have downloaded the application and the number is expected to rise in the upcoming months. This goes to show that Paypal Here has and continues to address the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. "Helping small businesses grow and accept payments has been in PayPal's DNA since its inception 14 years ago," said PayPal's vice president of mobile, David Marcus. "We've heard small businesses loud and clear. They don't want to miss sales opportunities because they can't accept the payment type that their customers want to use. They want quick access to their money, a reliable card reader, and one transparent, low fee to process these payments. I'm thrilled to launch PayPal Here because we've been able to bring all of these key features together into a product that's so simple to use."
For more information on how businesses can reap the benefits of similar mobile applications, get in touch with providers who can give you all the features you want and more.