PayPal has gone through a lot of positive and negative press over the years. If you currently use this payment service, you probably have a love/hate relationship with it. As much as PayPal can be bothersome (and dip into payments by taking quite a large chunk each time around), it is, to date, one of the few ways to accept and send payments electronically.
Recently PayPal announced that the company plans to roll out payments for small businesses. If you’re thinking: “wait, you can already use PayPal to accept and send small business payments,” think more along the lines of a device like Square. PayPal will soon be making it possible for small businesses to receive payments from consumers who have PayPal accounts. Details are somewhat scarce, but the following will help you gain a better understanding of what PayPal’s small business intentions are.
The Home Depot Started It All
Home Depot has hooked up with PayPal to create in-store PayPal payment systems. These devices allow Home Depot shoppers to pay for items using a PayPal account. Essentially, shoppers simply have to use a special PIN code via mobile provided by PayPal that is linked to a personal account or use a unique PayPal credit card. This system will start popping up in Home Depot stores near you within the very near future. Seemingly, PayPal’s small business payment system venture will mirror the Home Depot devices.
If my assumptions are correct, small businesses would be able to purchase PayPal payment devices, and customers could then pay for items through a PayPal account. It makes perfect sense for PayPal to enter the mobile and device payment market. After all, Square has really taken off lately (and for good reason – this device is really quite excellent). Retailers that couldn’t accept credit card payments can now make these payments happen with the Square device, and the same will be true for any small business wishing to connect with the new PayPal device.
Only, this begs the question: how will the new PayPal device be different from Square’s offering? One would assume that PayPal will have to price the new payment system competitively or risk losing lots of small businesses to Square (if these businesses haven’t been sold already). Aside from the business advantage of accepting credit card payments (and in this case, PayPal credit card payments), why would consumers want to pay for items using a PayPal account?
Seemingly, PayPal will take a percentage of each transaction (though this might only occur on the merchant side of things). Regardless, it will be interesting to see how PayPal works it all out, and whether or not PayPal can effectively compete with the likes of Square and other mobile payment platforms. According to TechCrunch, PayPal is expected to officially unveil this new small business payment system next week. As noted by TechCrunch too, PayPal did attempt something of this kind back in 2009, though the idea never really grabbed hold of consumers. Interested to see what happens with PayPal’s new small business plan? Stay tuned!