PayPal Here Overall Rating
Review Updated: 8/6/2013
PayPal Here Overview
PayPal has thrown its hat into the mobile payment acceptance arena with its launch of the “PayPal Here” mobile payment app and card reader. The service is yet another carbon copy of other mobile credit card processing services like Intuit’s GoPayment, Jack Dorsey’s (founder of Twitter) Square and North American Bancard’s Pay Anywhere, but, of course, PayPal Here has its own spin on the idea.
PayPal Here’s chief innovation is that it is integrated into a regular PayPal account and, therefore, merchants have access to a wide range of other features not found with most competitors. Funds from PayPal Here transactions that fall within normal risk tolerances will be available immediately to the merchant within his/her PayPal account. Merchants have the choice of transferring the money into an attached checking account or using an attached debit card to make purchases and ATM withdrawals. PayPal boasts that by accessing the funds through purchases with its “PayPal Business Debit Card,” merchants will receive a 1% cash back bonus and can bring their effective processing rate down to as low as 1.7%. GoPayment also offers the option of using a debit card to access funds and Square only offers automatic fund transfers to attached checking accounts.
The biggest standout features that PayPal Here brings to the table are the ability to accept electronic check payments, create and send digital invoices, and track cash payments all within the app. Most of these features were already available through a normal PayPal account.
PayPal Here Sales & Marketing Tactics | A
Because PayPal is such a high-profile company, PayPal Here is marketed primarily through the PayPal website. The PayPal Here website is easily navigated and clearly outlines the terms of PayPal Here with one minor exception: the key-in rate of 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction. While this is a common rate for key-in transactions, the website’s insistence in massive letters that “all card swipes and PayPal transactions have the same 2.7% rate with no hidden fees or commitments” seems to leave out the key-in rate. Merchants are advised to bear in mind that key-in transactions almost always carry a higher transaction fee because they are higher-risk transactions than swipes. Because this is the industry standard, however, PayPal Here will not be penalized for failing to feature this information prominently.
PayPal Here Costs & Contract Terms | B
Like most of its competitors, PayPal Here offers a free card reader and app that is compatible with most iPhone and Android devices. The swipe fee for processing a VISA or MasterCard transaction by sliding a card through the attached reader is a flat percentage of 2.7% and the keyed rate is 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction.
Upon further inspection, PayPal Here had some caveats in its pricing that apparently expired on April 15th of 2012. For instance, PayPal Here charged 3.5% for swiped American Express cards but was rebating merchants the difference to bring the final fee down to 2.7%. It appears that the rate for all cards, including American Express, is now lowered to 2.7%. Additionally, merchants who already use PayPal’s Virtual Terminal may see an increase in their pricing as all Virtual Terminal Transactions are subject to a rate of 3.5% + $0.15, which also applies to Key-In PayPal Here transactions. Lastly, merchants who already use PayPal Pro products may see a decrease in their pricing as all PayPal Payments Pro transactions are charged the 2.7% that applies to Swiped PayPal Here transactions. It’s a little confusing, but these may be the issues if merchants notice any pricing discrepancies.
In order to deal with fraud risk, PayPal Here handles its merchant processing limits and fund holding procedures in a very similar fashion to Square. Merchants who key in more than $1,000 in sales within any rolling seven day period will have the funds over $1,000 held in a reserve for 30 days before they are released. Also like Square, this limit does not apply to swiped transactions, of which the exact processing limits and reserve procedures are ambiguous and based on “risk” factors. This is in contrast to GoPayment, which displays processing limits upfront and clearly to the merchant.
PayPal Here Service & Complaints | B
One of the biggest frustrations merchants have with Square is the lack of live customer support and communication regarding reserves and fund holds. PayPal Here has both live phone and online support; however, it is difficult to determine how the company handles communication regarding holds and reserves, and how the customer support fares with the new service. PayPal itself has a very high volume of online complaints, but it is also a huge company that services many merchants, some of whom might be uninformed and easily frustrated. GoPayment and Pay Anywhere both offer live phone support and do not seem to suffer from complaints regarding holds. The comments located here and elsewhere that specifically discuss PayPal Here do not seem to have an issue with its customer support, so PayPal Here will receive a “B” in this category until further information is available.
PayPal Here BBB Report | C
Since PayPal Here is an app created by PayPal, there is no Better Business Bureau report specifically for PayPal Here. The BBB report for PayPal, however, shows accreditation and an “A+” rating despite having 6,137 complaints filed in the last 36 months. Of the complaints, 3,165 are related to problems with the service, 1,685 with billing and collection, 987 with advertising and sales issues and 400 with other issues. The BBB justifies the high rating with the length of time PayPal has been in business, the complaint volume versus PayPal’s size, the company’s response to complaints, the rate of resolution of those complaints and the fact that the BBB has sufficient background information on PayPal. The CPO adjusted BBB rating for PayPal is a “C” as of this update.
With its already 106 million registered users, PayPal stands to be a major player in the mobile payments arena with PayPal Here. The app seems to be holding its own in the face of numerous competitors and rapid changes, but we will be sure to monitor PayPal Here and update as necessary.
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