PayPal card readers

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Paypal Here, what it does and how it works

PayPal here is a mobile chip and pin card reader, which works alongside the PayPal app, allowing small business owners to accept card payments anywhere. The card reader connects to the mobile app via Bluetooth allowing contactless payments as well as high amounts where a pin will be required. PayPal’s wireless credit card machine has been widely reviewed, here we look at the pros and cons of this tiny device and how it can aid your business.

PayPal card machine charges

The PayPal Here card machines set up costs are attractively low, currently £62.50 plus VAT. However, it’s important to look at the transaction fees and when using the credit card machine, these are illustrated in the below table:

based on monthly sales
Up to £6000 2.75%
£6000.01 – £15000 2.0%
£15000.01 – £55000 1.5%
Above £55000 – personalise quote
based on monthly sales
Up to £6000 IC plus 2.5%
£6000.01 – £15000 IC plus 1.75%
£15000.01 – £55000 IC plus 1.25%
Above £55000 – personalise quote

IC means interchange rate which can varies between 0.2% and 2.0%

PayPal card terminals have two pricing structures the first, ‘blending’ means that you will pay the rate quoted at a fixed price no matter what the current interchange rate is, which can vary between 0.2% and 2.0% The second option with the portable credit card machine is to pay interchange (IC) plus an agreed percentage. The IC rate is set by Visa and Mastercard.


PayPal card machine additional rates

Depending on the structure of your business it’s worth bearing in mind these additional rates (which can come as a nasty surprise if you plan to process a lot of these types of transactions!!)

  • Manual entry of card data or swiping of card strip – blended fee 3.40% plus 20p!! or Interchange plus 3.15% plus 20p
  • American express 2.75% for contactless or chip and pin or 3.40% for manual entry plus 20p
  • If you are on the accepting business cards on the Interchange plus plan you pay up to 4.40% per transaction of monthly sales under the £6000 threshold.

PayPal mobile card machine app

The PayPal app is a clever bit of kit and works as a very scaled down version of an EPOS (electronic point of sale) system. Users can enter a sale either manually or by selecting from a list of imported products. You can also track payments made in cash and via cheque through the app. The app is simple to use and can be setup with up to 200 users, all with varying permissions.

Accept card payments with PayPal

When deciding if to use PayPal to take card payments, it’s important to think of the alternative options too. It’s clear from the pricing structure that although the initial set up costs are low the transaction fees can be a lot higher than elsewhere. Portable credit card terminal technology has really advanced in the last few years. There are similar more compact offerings in the UK from iZettle and SumUp available or you could look at main stream providers and reduce your transaction costs to as little at 1.0%. The PayPal chip and pin card reader, sure looks cute but when it comes to smaller businesses and saving money its worth shopping around to compare.


PayPal card machine reviews

Searching online you will find pages and pages of reviews for the PayPal’s chip and pin terminal, here are our main pros and cons.


Portable tiny device – suitable for working almost anywhere as it fits in most pockets!

The app is brilliant if you don’t already have an EPOS system of your own – bear in mind it doesn’t have the capability to stock check…YET!

Easy integration with existing PayPal accounts for online sales and telephone payments

Easy to use!


High transaction rates, let’s face it when you’re a SME you need all the help you can get when it comes to making profit!
Customer service – PayPal is renowned for its poor customer service. A UK based support team is available most days until 9pm, however it can take a while to get through!
The machine itself isn’t very substantial – but that’s us just being really picky!
The PayPal here card machine and app are suitable for some smaller businesses, but to be sure speak to one of our advisors today. We provide free, no obligatory advice to ensure that you make the right decision when it comes to accepting card payments. Our guide on PORTABLE TERMINALS explores alternative options to PayPal and our friendly team are available to speak to TODAY


Served notice by PayPal

PayPal has a very streamlined underwriting process, meaning applications are accepted quickly and at large volume. Be it chip and pin transactions or e-commerce sales – there is a possibility that you could be terminated by PayPal if your business no longer sits within their criteria. Finding PayPal alternatives doesn’t have to be complex, speak to our non-biased Merchant Services Brokers about your options today. We cover everything from start-ups to high-risk companies.


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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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