Full disclosure: I’ve been using the PayPal Here for a couple of years now, and purchased the card reader at full price. This review is all first-hand knowledge, and PayPal hasn’t sponsored this post or provided the card reader.
A couple of people have asked me how it is to use, so I thought I’d just do a brief-ish blog post about my experiences with the PayPal Here.
So, what is the PayPal Here card reader?
The PayPal Here card reader lets you take payments from credit or debit cards by connecting, via bluetooth, to an app on your phone. So long as you have an internet connection (3G, 4G or WiFi), a PayPal account, and a supported phone, then you’re good to go!
The funds are deposited into your PayPal account, and you pay the relevant PayPal fees. A more in depth description can be found on this page over on the PayPal Here website.
How I use the PayPal Here card reader
My only use for the PayPal Here is at craft/design markets here in the UK. I take payments of between £8 – £80, and have always used the chip + pin method. I average around 10 sales a day at markets using the PayPal Here. More and more people are asking if they can pay by card, and I think a lot of people are expecting everyone to have a card reader of some kind.
The Great Things
- The card reader is nice and compact, doesn’t take up that much more space in your already-stuffed craft fair luggage.
- Customers are aware of the PayPal brand, so don’t have any qualms about using it.
- You can text or email your customer a receipt right there in front of them.
- Customers don’t need a PayPal account to pay.
- The app (iPhone) got updated recently, and the new app comes with loads of great features that make selling a breeze. It lets you create a menu of items, so instead of entering the amount you can click on the particular item instead.
- There are no monthly or on-going fees with the PayPal Here, just the one-off payment for the reader, and the PayPal fees for each sale.
The Not-so-good Things
- The card reader currently costs £69, it was £99 when I bought it. It’s not a huuggeee amount, but it’s still an investment.
- The battery life can be a little iffy, and you can only see the life left in the battery by connecting it to the phone.
- The bluetooth connection can sometimes be a little dodgy, and have trouble connecting the first time. This has only happened a few times, but it’s annoying when it does.
- Unless the customer has a PayPal account, and their card is connected to it, you don’t get a name on your PayPal records. This is a major buzzkill for my type-A book keeping.
Would I recommend the PayPal Here card reader? Yes. It’s a good solution for a small investment, it really makes a difference at craft fairs and markets, and stops you missing out on “I’ll just run to the cash machine… AND NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN” sales.
The fees are a bummer, but with any payment system like this, and anything you use to take card payments, you’re going to encounter fees of some kind. The PayPal Here fees are pretty decent compared to some of the alternatives.
You can get your own PayPal Here here!