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PayPal Here racks up thousands of sign-ups in first week

The new in-person mobile payment system that uses a device plugged into a smartphone is already tallying up its fair share of sign-ups.

PayPal Here, a credit card reader

Since PayPal launched its new payment service "PayPal Here" last week, it has raked in thousands of sign-ups. In fact, in the first 24 hours of its introduction, the online payment company says it was getting 1,000 sign-ups per hour.

"To say there's been some interest in our new offering would be an understatement," PayPal spokesman Anuj Nayar said in a statement today. "Clearly there's a need for a secure, global solution that provides small businesses the flexibility to get paid anytime, anywhere, any way."

The idea of PayPal Here actually riffs on an idea that already exists--Square. Both offer a free service in which a device is plugged into a smartphone headphone jack and lets merchants or individuals accept credit cards though the phone. The goal is to streamline and simplify in-person payment transactions. Intuit and VeriFone Systems also offer similar devices.

The main difference with PayPal Here is that it is already global and has merchants in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong; Square is currently just in the U.S. Additionally, PayPal Here has easier access to PayPal's millions of users, which will most likely give it a larger reach.

Right now PayPal Here is only available for select merchants, but Nayar says that the payment service will open up to all other merchants in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong next month.