PayPal Here is an exciting new feature PayPal will be launching in Canada soon that promises to bring credit card processing (and, naturally, PayPal payments) to merchants who are under-serviced by traditional Point-of-Sale transaction processing. By giving anyone with a smartphone the ability to take plastic or PayPal it will soon be possible for very small business owners to accept credit cards on location without the headache of a contract with a payment processor or a traditional, wire-based Internet connection. That means everyone from craft booths to street meat vendors could soon be accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
I signed up for information on the day it was announced and just received an e-mail from them:
You are now a confirmed member of the PayPal Here “Exclusive Release” wait list. PayPal Here will be available in Canada shortly and you will be notified at that time with instructions on how to get your free mobile card reader and access to the merchant app via the iOS App store or Android Market.
PayPal Here will make a big difference to your business. Instead of chasing payments or missing out on sales, you’ll be able to plug our thumb-sized card reader into your smartphone and get paid on the spot wherever you do business.
Although I am quite sure this is part of the global conspiracy to end cash I’m perfectly happy to jump on this bandwagon because of the power it puts into the hands of startups and ma n pa shops.
Putting the POS terminal into the common man’s hands also has one major drawback: I am currently taking bets on how long it will be until apps and worms appear that intercept data from the card reader (which interfaces with the device via minijack softmodem).