After debuting its in-store mobile payments technology PayPal Here in the U.K. two weeks ago, the payments giant is announcing another set of news around the product: an iPad app. Not only is this the first iPad app for PayPal Here, but it’s actually the company’s first native app for the tablet ever.
Last year, PayPal launched Here, a triangular dongle that plugs into an iPhone or Android device to read the magnetic strip on the back of a card — similar to the square-shaped dongle produced by rival Square. PayPal says that an iPad app was a hugely requested feature from its “hundreds of thousands” of merchant users. In fact, many users were simply magnifying the iPhone app to fit the iPad. Today, the iPad app will compete with the likes of Square’s iPad register app, Square Register.
The app’s design is different from its iPhone cousin and has been optimized for the larger touch screen of the device. It allows for multiple employee logins within one account, which is a key feature for any larger merchants or chains. Once you log in, you are taken to the register, which allows you to enter the total into the keyboard and take a payment in a variety of ways, including swiping the credit card using PayPal Here, entering the number manually, scanning the card using Card.io’s acquired technology, accepting a check, or using cash.
Once the transaction is approved, you can email, text or print a receipt. Merchants can also see which customers have check-in via the PayPal app.
There are a number of other interesting technologies built-in, as well. The app has integrated eBay’s RedLaser technology to allow users to scan barcodes to purchase items (which is not included in Square Register yet). Users can also use the scanning feature to add inventory to the app to allow for an easier checkout process. Merchants can also manually add items to the menu so cashiers can simply pick an item from a list to add to a bill amount.
In terms of backend technology, the iPad app shows merchants sales history, a daily summary of sales, gross sales to date, taxes, tips, discounts. You can also wirelessly connect the app to a cash drawer and printer. While the app could replace a register, PayPal says that it also is integrating into existing POS solutions from NCR, Vend, Kounta, Erply, Leapset and Shopkeep.
For now, the register only works in the U.S. with the PayPal Here dongle, but eventually the app will be integrated with the company’s international offerings, as well.
In late February, PayPal Here debuted its new hardware to accommodate the chip-based cards in the U.K. and other parts of the world, competing with some of the local payments companies like iZettle. But PayPal says the response to the U.K. reader has been positive, and already the company has had 11,000 merchants express interest in using the technology. As mentioned above, the company says PayPal Here in the U.S. is being used by hundreds of thousands of merchants, and is growing at a fair pace in terms of usage (which is still less than Square).
That being said, Square and Square Register has had a leg up on this market in the U.S. because it has been out for longer, and in that time has updated its iPad app several times. But the market is huge, especially among small- to mid-sized chains and a little competition should be interesting and help push companies to innovate faster.