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As a business owner, you have numerous options to choose from when it comes to processing customer transactions. It can be overwhelming to decide which option is best for your business since there is no perfect solution. An option you have is the mobile payments processor PayPal Here, which can be used to streamline customer transactions and manage payments. PayPal Here is similar to other processors on the market, such as the popular Square.
With either of these programs, you can turn your smartphone or tablet into a credit card processor just by downloading an app and connecting a card reader. This is great for small businesses owners who choose not to accept cash or don’t have a need for registers. However, there are clear differences between the two services and depending on your needs, you may be better off with one over the other.
In this review, we’ll discuss the features of PayPal Here, how you can use it to accept payments and how it compares with Square so you can decide which platform is best for your business needs.
In this article
PayPal Here vs. Square
Before you settle on PayPal Here, you should see how it stacks up against one of the leading mobile payment processors, Square. You’ve most likely heard of Square and experienced using it when you pay at some businesses. Square is used by millions of businesses and helps them simplify daily transactions. Below, we compare the features of PayPal Here and Square to see which platform is superior.
|Application required?||Yes||No||Square – You can simply buy the reader and begin using it. No application needed.|
|Startup cost||$14.99 for basic magstripe reader
$24.99 for chip and swipe reader
$59.99 for chip and tap reader
$99.99 for chip card reader
|$0 for basic magstripe reader
$49 or $17/month for 3 months for contactless and chip reader
|Square – Their readers are cheaper than PayPal Here.|
|Card processing fees||2.70% per swipe
3.5% + $0.15 to key in cards
|2.75% per swipe
3.5% + $0.15 to key in cards
|PayPal Here – They charge .05% less per swipe than Square.|
|Accepted payments||Credit and debit cards, cash, checks and PayPal payments||Credit and debit cards, cash, checks and gift cards||Tie|
|Availability of funds once a sale processes||Sales are available instantly in your PayPal account. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, PayPal estimates it’ll take at least one business day.
Note: With a reserve limit of $500 in a 7-day period, the difference in sales that are over $500 is subject to an automatic 30-day reserve where funds are held in your PayPal account to cover the high risk associated with these types of transactions.
|1-2 business days in your linked bank account||Square – While you can’t access funds instantly, you can receive them directly to your bank account and aren’t subject to the 30-day reserve PayPal Here has for certain sales.|
|Customer service||Phone, email, Twitter, ask the PayPal Community||Phone, email, Twitter, ask the Support Center||Tie|
|Supported devices||Phone and tablet
Click here for software requirements
|Phone and tablet
Click here for software requirements
|Security||Data is encrypted||Data is encrypted. Plus, Square doesn’t store card data on your device after a payment has been processed.||Square – The service doesn’t store card data on your device.|
|Offline mode||No||Yes, you can swipe payments without a connection||Square|
The Overall Winner: Square
Square provides business owners with a simple, comprehensive mobile processing system that provides more perks compared with PayPal Here. The contactless and chip reader is cheaper than PayPal Here’s, and you can access funds more easily since there’s no “reserve” for transactions over $500 in a 7-day period. We especially like how you can swipe payments offline with Square — helpful for the times you have spotty Wi-Fi connection.
Fees accurate as of the date of publishing.
Who PayPal Here is best for
Business owners who like using PayPal can see the most benefit from PayPal Here and the immediate access to funds through your PayPal account. Plus, you’ll save 0.05% per swipe compared with using one of Square’s readers. While it’s a small amount, ultimately you’re saving money.
If you’re not a fan of PayPal and prefer to withdraw funds via your bank account, this isn’t the simplest option since you’ll need to transfer funds from your PayPal account to your linked bank account. You’d be better off using one of Square’s readers that deposits funds directly to your bank account. This also isn’t the best choice for businesses that bring in sales over $500 in a 7-day period while using the free mobile card reader, since the difference in funds over the $500 threshold are subject to an automatic 30-day reserve. A better option is to use Square’s free magstripe reader.
How PayPal Here works
PayPal Here is similar to many other card readers. You log into the PayPal Here app and plug in or connect your reader wirelessly. Then, you can begin swiping, tapping and inserting cards to fulfill transactions. After you accept payment, funds are instantly deposited into your PayPal account.
PayPal Here also comes with a bunch of other handy business tools like the ability to run sales reports, track inventory, calculate sales tax, set suggested tip amounts, apply discounts to purchases and more.
In the next sections, we’ll review the fees, supported devices, access to funds and customer service provided by a PayPal Here reader.
There is no monthly fee to use PayPal Here, but you will incur card processing fees:
- 2.70% per swipe
- 5% + $0.15 to key in cards
Depending on the reader you purchase, there may be also be a startup cost:
- Mobile Card Reader: Free
- Chip and Swipe Reader: $24.99
- Chip and Tap Reader: $59.99
- Chip Card Reader: $99.99
PayPal Here can conveniently be used on Apple and Android phones and tablets. Here are the software requirements:
- iPhone: iOS (iPhone 5 and later) devices running iOS version 10 and later
- iPad: devices running iOS version 10 and later
- Android smartphones: Devices need to have Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later, 3.5 mm headset jack with microphone, support for location services, and internet access (via Wi-Fi or cellular data network)
- Android tablets: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10″, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7″, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10″, Samsung Nexus 10″, Samsung Galaxy Note 10″
How to access funds
Your funds are available instantly* in your PayPal account after the transaction is processed. The quickest way to access your funds is to use a PayPal Business Debit MasterCard® to withdraw funds at an ATM or to make purchases. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, you won’t be able to access funds right away. PayPal estimates that it can take at least one business day for funds to be deposited into your bank account. Another option is to request a check, but it may incur a fee and that takes the most time — 1-2 weeks for U.S. customers and up to 6 weeks for customers outside the U.S.
*Note: Any amount that goes over the $500 sale threshold in a 7-day period made with the mobile card reader is subject to an automatic 30-day reserve where funds are held in your PayPal account to cover the high risk associated with these types of transactions.
PayPal Here has several options for businesses to contact customer service when an issue or question arises. You can call, email, send a tweet to @AskPayPal, or search for and ask questions in the PayPal Community forum.
Mobile readers offered
PayPal Here has four mobile readers that you can choose from: Mobile Card Reader, Chip and Swipe Reader, Chip and Tap Reader, and Chip Card Reader. We list the cost and supported devices for each below.
|Mobile Card Reader||Chip and Swipe Reader||Chip and Tap Reader||Chip Card Reader|
|Supported devices||Major credit and debit magstripe cards||Major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards and contactless mobile phone payments||Major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards and contactless mobile phone payments||Major credit and debit magstripe cards, chip cards and contactless mobile phone payments|
|Availability of funds||Instantly*, in your PayPal account. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, PayPal estimates it’ll take at least one business day.||Instantly, in your PayPal account. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, PayPal estimates it’ll take at least one business day.||Instantly, in your PayPal account. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, PayPal estimates it’ll take at least one business day.||Instantly, in your PayPal account. If you want to transfer funds to your bank account, PayPal estimates it’ll take at least one business day.|
*Sales over $500 in a 7-day period made with the mobile card reader are subject to an automatic 30-day reserve where funds over the $500 limit are held in your PayPal account to cover the high risk associated with these types of transactions.
Note: You need to submit an application and be approved to receive a PayPal Here reader. You simply cannot buy a reader and begin using it.