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PayPal Here is coming to Europe, in a somewhat altered and updated form. Payment processor PayPal, which is owned by eBay Inc., announced it will be debuting a new version of its mobile point-of-sale solution PayPal Here for the European market. The product will be unveiled at next week's Mobile World Congress.
The major difference with the European version of the PayPal Here product, which gives small merchants the ability to turn their mobile devices into credit and debit card terminals, is that it will now read chip-and-PIN debit and credit cards that carry an EMV chip.
To read the chips, the European version of PayPal Here will offer merchants a brand new reader. Instead of the blue triangular dongle used in the U.S. version, the newly designed PayPal reader for chip-and-PIN is a sleek white unit about the same size as the mobile device itself. It pairs with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth and features a keypad for customers to enter their PINs. PayPal indicates on the website for the product that merchants will have to pay for the device, but no price is mentioned. PayPal doesn't charge for its "swipe" dongles for reading credit and debit cards with a magnetic stripe.
According to the website for the European PayPal Here product, transaction fees, at least in the U.K., will be slightly higher for chip-and-PIN transactions than fees charged in the U.S. Pricing starts at 3.4 percent plus 20p for monthly transaction volumes up to £1,500 with fees dropping as merchant processing volumes increase. That compares with a 2.7-percent fee for U.S. merchants using PayPal Here.
The reader pairs with the PayPal Here app to process transactions. The European version of the app is basically the same as the U.S. version, including the ability to send an email receipt and track transactions. It also includes a "click-to-call" button that connects merchants to a PayPal customer service team.
A video from PayPal showing the new product in action is below:
The European front
PayPal said it will launch the European version in the U.K. starting this summer following a short pilot in the next few months. A full rollout into other markets will follow.
Nearly a year after PayPal belatedly launched its PayPal Here mPOS solution in the U.S. to compete with rivals like Square and Intuit, PayPal is entering another increasingly competitive market. The European mPOS market has become as heated as the U.S. without a dominant player like Square. Companies like payleven, iZettle, mPowa and SumUp are all vying for dominance and operate in multiple markets.
Both payleven and iZettle also have their own chip-and-PIN reading devices. Both companies charge merchants €49 ($65) for their readers but charge lower transaction fees than PayPal Here offers.
Mobile World Congress is the annual conference held in Barcelona by the GSMA, the international organization representing the wireless industry. The conference runs Feb. 25-28.
The story has been updated to include the cost of similar devices for comparison.
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