By Aimee Chanthadavong

PayPal Australia has launched PayPal Here, a smartphone application and accessory that turns a mobile phone into a payment acceptance device.

Designed specific for small businesses, service providers and casual sellers, PayPal Here enable merchants to accept credit card and PayPal payments via their smartphone.

The encrypted card reader is a device that attaches to a smartphone and allows merchants to digitally accept and track cash transactions before invoicing their customers. This also means merchants will receive funds from credit card payments immediately.

Brad Paterson, PayPal Asia Pacific head of new ventures, said PayPal Here is a mobile payment solution that helps reduce friction that often occurs during the payment process and evens the playing field for small businesses.

“PayPal Here enables small businesses to accept credit payments and what we’re doing using that technology, coupled with a smartphone, to accept a payment now,” he said

“The main differentiation is that small businesses can accept PayPal payments at point of sale. We’re making sure small businesses will never miss out on a sale ever again.”

Similarly, Carey Kolaga, PayPal chief of operations for global product & experience, said PayPal is the re-architecture of the wallet to the ‘digital wallet’ where there’ll soon be no need for cash, coupons or receipts.

“The move to a cashless society is sooner than we expected,” she said.

Businesses will be able to personalise their internal inventory on the PayPal Here application and provide company-branded and itemised invoices to customers via email or SMS. By amalgamating all payment information into one place, merchants can easily manage the cash flow of their business whilst on the move.

According to Kolaga, the aim is to bring back the old art form of customer service where the retailer knew individually who their customers were and what they were after but in a more innovative and digital form.

With the launch of PayPal Here, PayPal is updating its consumer mobile application to enable a ‘check-in feature’. Customers can check-in to any store accepting PayPal Here and the merchant is instantly notified. Once the customer has placed their order, the merchant can process the payment with PayPal, creating a seamless payment experience, where the customer never even needs to reach for their wallet.

An Andorid version is expected for general realize soon. The smartphone swipe swipe device will be free for any business owner who registers their interest in the first six months from launch here.