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PayPal Here is supposed to be PayPal's answer to Square, the most popular mobile payment processor on the market. With either of these devices, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a credit card processor just by downloading an app and plugging in a card reader. This is great for small businesses and sole proprietors who don't have a need for registers and expensive equipment. Is PayPal Here right for your business?
I run a side business and I have actually used PayPal Here to take money from customers. What better way to gain insight about a product than by hearing from an actual user? Here is my PayPal Here review, along with a comparison of PayPal Here vs. Square.
How PayPal Here Works
PayPal Here is really simple to operate, assuming you know a tiny bit about smartphones. To use it, you must first download the PayPal Here app through iTunes or Google Play. Then you will be prompted to sign into your PayPal account and go through a series of steps to request your card reader. The reader is free and usually takes three to four days to arrive in the mail. If you can't wait that long, you can pick one up at Staples or AT&T.
Once you get your card reader in, all you have to do is log into the app and plug it in. Next you put in the value of the transaction and swipe the card. The person making a payment will use his or her finger to sign for the purchase, and then you can send a receipt for the transaction to the person's email address or cell phone. Meanwhile, the funds are deposited in your account and you get a receipt via email. The money is available for you to use instantly.
PayPal Here allows you to accept multiple forms of payments, rather than just credit cards. While it does a great job at processing cards, it can also accept checks with a simple picture on your phone or tablet. I haven't had to use this option yet, but from what I understand, you take a photo of the front and back so that PayPal can store it for verification. Then the money goes into your account.
Another feature that I like is the ability to send invoices through the app, in case you have a customer who needs itemized proof of his or her transaction. You can use PayPal Here to send receipts for purchases, which cuts back on the need to print paper receipts. Everything goes through email. If you have someone buying something in cash, you can use PayPal Here to send him a receipt. The option is not reserved for credit card purchases.
I have a PayPal business debit card that I use to withdraw money from my PayPal account. Thus when I use PayPal Here, I have instant access to my money through my card. I can take it out in cash at an ATM, or I can swipe it at a store I go to. There is no long wait to get money.
I could keep going on about the benefits, but to sum things up: PayPal Here is free, easy to use, and multi-purposed. That doesn't leave much room for complaints.
The Not So Good
To be fair, I have to present the bad side of PayPal Here. For people who don't use PayPal, it can be a bit of a hassle. You have to sign up for an account, hook it up to a bank account or credit card, wait for all of the verifications to go through, and then start taking payments. The money you get is instant, but it will sit in your PayPal account until you do something with it. You can spend it online, send it to a bank account, or register for a debit card and then swipe that for a withdrawal.
If you have to send your money to your bank account, you may be waiting close to a week for everything to process. That depends on the day of the week the transaction is started and how quickly your bank works with PayPal. when depositing checks, this clearly won't get you money any faster than the bank would. It may be a bit pointless to use.
Long story short, PayPal Here can be a big stress inducer for people who don't like or need to have a PayPal account. I'm not one of those.
PayPal Here vs. Square
Here is a feature by feature comparison of PayPal Here to Square:
- Fees: PayPal Here charges 2.7% per transaction. Square charges 2.75%.
- Payment time: PayPal Here deposits are available instantly in PayPal, but then you have to transfer them if you want them in the bank. That takes 3-4 business days to complete. Square deposits take 1-2 days to go into your bank account.
- Accepted payments: PayPal Here lets you accept credit cards, checks, and PayPal payments. Square only lets you accept credit cards.
- Installation: Both PayPal Here and Square are easy to install and free.
- User friendliness: Both PayPal Here and Square are easy to use.
The Bottom Line
PayPal Here may not work well for everyone, but it is definitely a solution for those who like PayPal. Seeing that I work online, I'm used to getting paid this way. I swipe my PayPal debit card whenever I want to, and I never have to worry about messy bank transfers. If you don't like PayPal and just see it as an extra step you have to go through to get your money, this clearly isn't the right option for you.
Check out your mobile payment processing options today and see what you should use for your business.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.