New PayPal device 'eases payments'
A new chip and pin device to make it easier for small traders such as ice cream sellers, market stall holders and taxi firms to accept card payments has been unveiled by PayPal.
PayPal Here is aimed at smaller businesses which may find it costly to take card payments and have traditionally relied on cash or cheques.
Customers use the PayPal device in the same way that they would a chip and pin machine in a high street store. The device is linked to an app on the traders' smartphone which acts like a till.
A spokesman for PayPal said the innovation has been particularly aimed at small businesses and seasonal traders as they will not be tied into a contract but will need to pay a yet-to-be-disclosed one-off charge for the device and a "small fee" per transaction.
The pocket-sized device is set to be launched in the UK this summer and has been developed specifically for use in this country, where people are used to using chip and pin technology.
Cameron McLean, managing director of PayPal UK, said: "Cash and cheques have served us all well over the years, but businesses that rely on them risk missing valuable sales."
Innovations in technology have made it increasingly easy for consumers to move away from using cash. Businesses are increasingly moving towards installing contactless "tap and go" payment points for people who want to quickly pay for low-cost items by swiping their card instead of using cash.
UK payments body the Payments Council is also developing an industry-wide scheme to allow people to transfer cash to friends and businesses as easily as texting, which will be up and running from spring next year.
Barclays already has a similar mobile phone money transfer scheme in place, called Pingit, which has been running since February last year and is available to customers of all UK banks and building societies.