The official announcement won’t take place until MWC but we were lucky enough to meet with a number of the the company’s UK team, including Narik Patel – the man in charge of bringing the company’s new service: PayPal Here, to the UK.
It was halfway through last year that PayPal brought their Here infrastructure to the US, but now an evolution of that same system is about to be made available to UK small businesses which combines the existing card swipe payment method with the convenience of a Chip & Pin machine, all tied in with your smartphone.
Having trialled it over the last year, with some businesses already part of the beta test in parts of London and across the country, PayPal have been able to establish a simple alternative to the typical Chip & Pin machines which are more accessible to independent retailers and the like. The system which utilises a Bluetooth enabled Chip & Pin machine paired (designed in house by PayPal) to the PayPal here app on your iOS or Android device can take payments from a credit card, PayPal account and can also log cash or cheque transactions.
The idea behind bringing this to the UK is that presently the financial obligations of renting a typical Chip & Pin machine for small businesses can be too much of an undertaking. Instead, PayPal’s own system simply requires a one off purchase of the reader and a percentage of transactions taken over it after that. It effectively removes the need for a full blown till and allows the taking or card payments in loads of new places which otherwise, wouldn’t be able to offer such an option.
Greedy Goat Ice Cream in Borough Market by London Bridge was one of the case studies demonstrated which if you live nearby will be able to try out first hand. We’ll have more information and some hands-on with the new system following MWC, but this could change the way we pay in the UK.