Online payments giant PayPal recently launched a new product called PayPal Here Chip Card Reader which allows merchants to accept various forms of digital payment such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, and EMV-enabled cards. It is available for US retailers, in-store merchants, and customers.
The PayPal Here Chip Card Reader is currently offered at $49 for US retailers if they can be able to process at least $3,000 worth of transactions within the first three months. If not, the retail price of the card reader is at $149.
PayPal vs. Bitcoin
Following its split with online retail company eBay, PayPal has been able to focus its operations on the digital payments arena. It has recently made a move to allow online gambling sites to transact using their platform, as the company is facing stiff competition with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are less stringent with their transactions.
According to an article on Inside Bitcoins, the idea behind the PayPal Here Chip Card Reader seems to be taking a page out of the bitcoin handbook by enabling more contactless payment methods. The company is also aiming to lower transactions costs associated with these types of payments, although it can’t quite hold a candle to the virtually zero fees using bitcoin.
Even though there is no monthly fee required for merchants using this device, every swiped card payment will be subject to a 2.7% fee. Funds received will be credited to the merchant’s PayPal account and withdrawal or conversion fees will still apply.
Besides, the PayPal Here Chip Card Reader is criticized for not being user-friendly, as it requires a lot of infrastructure that can be particularly costly for merchants. Owners of the chip card reader will have to install an additional PayPal Here app on their smartphone in order to manage accounts.