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PayPal Here liberates on-the-go payments with an app-based solution

PayPal is set to change the way Australians make credit card payments, with a new system that does away with bulky terminals.

PayPal is set to change up the way Australians make credit card payments on the go, with a new mobile payment system known as PayPal Here.

With the help of an app, the PayPal Here can be used to make credit card payments on the go. (Credit: PayPal)

While PayPal has made a name for itself in the world of e-commerce and online transactions, the company is set to revolutionise the way payments are made in the real world with a new mobile payment device designed for small businesses and casual sellers.

Launching in the coming months, PayPal Here includes a card reader, a little thicker than a small smartphone, which pairs with a dedicated mobile app via Bluetooth to create a portable and wireless point-of-sale terminal.

It's designed to read credit cards with chip and PIN security, as well as debit cards from VISA and MasterCard. Along with taking card payments, the system can be also be used to generate invoices and log cash transactions.

Rather than setting up an EFTPOS terminal, a small business owner simply downloads the PayPal Here app on their smartphone; the mobile is used to input the cost of the sale, and then the transaction is completed with the customer inserting their card into the reader and entering their PIN on the keypad.

It's easy to imagine a small device like this liberating small businesses from the full set up (and cost) of a larger point of sale terminal, and it also has clear applications for street vendors, market sellers and mobile businesses.

Set up involves a one-off charge of AU$139 for the card reader as well small percentage fees charged to the merchant for each payment (1.95 per cent for credit card payments via the card reader, 2.4 per cent + 30c for invoicing, and 2.9 per cent + 30c for credit cards keyed in to the app without use of the card reader).

Citing Reserve Bank figures that show a decline in the average value of cash payments, PayPal argues that more and more Australians are using their cards for low-value purchases. According to Andrew Rechtman, PayPal Australia's senior director of SMB, retail and strategy, the PayPal Here meets this trend while also giving small business owners and sellers a convenient payment option.

"Today's shopfront is increasingly mobile with consumers embracing this trend and no longer expecting to have to travel to a shop for everyday goods and services," he said. "This is why we've developed the new PayPal Here - to give businesses the flexibility to be more mobile, without being hampered by logistical challenges that technology can easily overcome."

The only timeframe we have for launch is that the device will arrive in Australia in the first half of 2014 according to PayPal, but registrations for the new product are open from today on PayPal's website.