PayPal Here Review

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Date Established
1998
Location
San Jose, CA

Overview:

NOTE: PayPal Here is still not available for Canadian merchants, although a small pilot program did launch in Canada. We’ve received a lot of inquires about this, and will post an update if we ever hear about any changes from PayPal.

If you’ve used eBay, chances are you’ve used PayPal. And if you haven’t used eBay, you probably don’t own a computer. (Or you shop on Amazon.)

Seriously though, PayPal has 165 million active accounts. It had a net total processing volume of $228 billion in 2014. The company is massive, even if merchant payment processing only makes up one part of the overall business.

We already reviewed PayPal as a merchant service provider (4 stars), so a lot of that information also pertains to its PayPal Here mobile processing service. It’s worth noting here that as I write, PayPal is preparing to spin off from eBay into its own, fully fledged company. You can get the details of that here. We don’t know everything that’s going to happen after that split, but it’s highly likely we’ll also see some new features catering to merchants.

PayPal Here (PPH), the payment giant’s mobile processor, launched in 2012, after services like Square and PayAnywhere demonstrated that pay-as-you-go, standalone mobile payment processing accounts were in high demand. It fast became a major force to contend with, and with the brand recognition and quite a lot of money backing it, that’s no surprise.

While you’ll need a PayPal Business or Premier account to use PPH, the upgrade from a personal account comes free of charge and happens automatically as part of the sign-up process. After that, you just download the app and then, voilà —  you can start processing. PayPal will mail your free card reader to you, or you can pick one up at participating stores (including Staples) for $15, and PayPal will reimburse you for the purchase. It couldn’t be any easier, and the whole thing comes with no strings attached. You won’t have to return the card reader if you decide to cancel, nor will you have to pay any cancellation fees.

I’d definitely recommend PayPal Here over Square. Heck, I’d also recommend it over PayAnywhere. PPH has better features and comparable pricing. I love the almost-instantaneous funding to my PayPal account alongside the PayPal debit card for quick access to the cash. The card reader has a very usable, stable design, which is more than we can say about the boxy Square swiper.

A lot of people out there have had bad experience with PayPal, but it’s a complicated situation because of how diverse PayPal’s services are, and because of how much of PayPal’s business comes from eBay.

That said, I honestly believe the company offers good quality service overall, and especially as a standalone mobile payment processor. I’m not sure I’d be ready to take the leap and have PayPal Here as my only way to accept payment, especially for higher-volume businesses – but then again, you don’t have to. It costs you nothing to keep PPH as an option on top of a traditional merchant account.

For merchants who process low or sporadic volumes, it could save you a ton of money in fees (no statement fee, no monthly minimum, no PCI fee, no annual fee, no rate increases…). You do the math. If you work in a high-risk industry, though, we strongly recommend you look else. We found Flint Mobile to be a more reliable mobile processor overall, but the best fit for your business will depend in part on the features you need.

I’m completely comfortable giving PayPal Here 4 stars for now, and I hope it continues to improve.

Check out the full review for more information, and please leave a comment with your thoughts or experiences!

Products and Services:

PayPal Here offers all of the basic features you’d expect, plus some nice surprises. What’s probably most convenient about PPH is how easily it integrates with the rest of PayPal’s features. Whether you sell online, in a store, on the go, or a combination there of, PayPal has a solution that works — and loads of partnerships to boot.

As far as PPH is concerned, here’s the feature rundown:

  • Mobile credit and debit processing: Accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards.
  • Free mobile app (that’s easy to use): Available for Android, iOS, and even Windows 8.1 devices (more on that later).
  • Free audio jack swiper: Need your card swiper right away? Buy one at a local store for $15 and PayPal will reimburse you. Otherwise, if you can wait, it’ll mail you one for free.
  • Manage multiple users under one account: If you have a team of users, you can create secondary accounts and assign permissions.
  • Mobile POS: Set up a tablet with PayPal Here and integrate one of PayPal’s partner solutions to set up a complete POS system suited to retail and restaurant environments, among others.
  • Same-day funding: Funds go to your PayPal account almost immediately. Sign up for a PayPal merchant debit card and get access to the cash right away even when you’re not spending it online. As a bonus, it’ll make your bookkeeping easier if you only use it for business expenses.
  • Cash and check recording: Manage all of your payments in one place with the ability to log cash and check payments. There’s even a QuickBooks integration.
  • Card info capture by camera: This is not an easy feature to find, but if keying in a number is frustrating to you, PPH does have a feature where you can scan the card number using your device’s camera. To access it, you’ll have to disconnect the reader. If you select the “Card Number” option after hitting charge, you arrive at a screen where you can either manually enter the card information or hit the camera icon, which will take you to the scanner.
  • Invoicing: This comes as part of the broader PayPal business account, but you can in fact send invoices to customers. The invoice itself is free to send, but when you get paid, it’s just 2.9% plus $0.30 — or less, if you have a volume discount. You can create invoices from directly within the PayPal Here app. Compatible Hardware:

What’s New:

On the off chance you’ve forgotten, EMV is coming on October 1, 2015 — are you ready? We know PayPal’s reader will support EMV as well as contactless payments. We don’t know much more about it, but we will keep you updated as soon as we have information.

I’m a bit disappointed to see that PPH hasn’t really added more features than it’s added since our last check-in. But something new I am excited about is support for Windows. Not many processors design apps that work with Windows mobile devices, but in January of 2015, PayPal announced that the app would be available for the  Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and other Windows 8.1 devices. And unlike PPH in Canada, you can actually find the app in the Windows App Store.

What’s Missing:

Since our last check-in, PPH has dropped one feature: its check deposit feature. Around mid 2014, PayPal quietly eliminated the ability to take a photo of a check, cash it, and deposit those funds in your PayPal account. It’s an odd move considering that more and more mobile banking apps are incorporating it — but maybe it was underused.

Flint, a top contender for mobile processing, also uses your device’s camera to capture card information. There’s no swiper required. If that’s a feature you like, we highly suggest checking out Flint — it earned a 5-star rating. It also has a recording feature for cash and check transactions — and debit card processing rates are just 1.95% (credit is 2.95%).

Something I would very much like to see, that Square has already implemented, is an offline mode. Sometimes, try as you might, an Internet signal is just not available. In those cases, PPH is useless for processing cards, but Square will actually let you swipe cards and then store that information for up to 72 hours. Yes, there are some liability issues, but it’s a very good feature — and a much better alternative to a manual credit card machine when you don’t have Internet.

Compatible Hardware:

At this point, there’s a substantial number of devices supporting PayPal Here, which is a major advantage. Your device is going to need a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Internet support (cellular or Wi-Fi), and location services enabled. Here’s what you need to know about compatibility:

iOS: PPH supports iPhone 3GS and newer, as well as all iPads and iPad Minis. All devices must be running iOS 6.0 or later, as well.

Android: Smartphones and tablets must be running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Tablet support is new since our last check-in, but includes Samsung Galaxy Tab models and the Galaxy Nexus 10.

Windows: Smartphones and tablets must be running Windows 8.1. Support for Windows is slightly less widespread, as you might examine, but here are some of the supported devices:

  • Surface Pro 3, 2, and RT
  • HP Elitepad 1000
  • Asus Vivotab Note 8
  • Dell Venue Pro 8
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
  • Nokia Lumia 830
  • Nokia Lumia 635
  • Nokia Lumia 630
  • Nokia Lumia 520
  • BLU Win HD

Fees and Rates:

PayPal does a spectacularly great job at disclosing its fees and rates. Apart from the transactions themselves, you pay nothing — unless there’s a chargeback. Now, if you need more features (such as a full e-commerce setup to go with your mobile reader), you might want to look at PayPal Payments Pro — that’ll run you $30 a month.

If you’re just using PPH, though, this is what you can expect to pay:

  • Swiped Transactions: 2.7%
  • Keyed-In or Scanned Transactions: 3.5% + $0.15
  • PayPal Transactions: 2.7%
  • Cross-Border Transactions, Swiped and PayPal: 3.7%
  • Cross-Border Transactions, Keyed In or Scanned: 4.5% + $.15

You won’t see any:

  • Monthly/annual fees
  • PCI compliance fees
  • Set up fees
  • Equipment fees

…or any other fees not mentioned above. There really are no hidden fees with PayPal or its mobile solution. The only thing you should be aware of — that isn’t readily disclosed — is the $20 chargeback fee. That’s pretty standard in the industry because dealing with chargebacks is a headache for any payment processor.

Since our last check-in, PayPal has also amended its processing limits for keyed-in or scanned payments. Before, $2,500 or more in keyed transactions during a rolling 7-day period would trigger a PayPal hold for 30 days. The wording is considerably more vague in the user agreement from July 1, 2015:

  • Actions We May Take. PayPal, in its sole discretion, may take various reasonable actions we determine are necessary when we believe there may be a high level of risk associated with you, your Account, or any or all of your transactions. Such reasonable actions may include placing a hold or reserve on funds in your Account, requesting additional collateral from you such as a letter of credit or a personal guaranty, or limiting transactions to those made within the country of your account. PayPal may contact your customers on your behalf in the event PayPal is investigating potential fraud. More information about the actions we may take and your liability can be found under Section 10 of the User Agreement.

Conceivably, there’s still a limit to keyed-in transactions you can handle before PayPal gets suspicious and puts a hold on your account. Unfortunately, we no longer know what that limit is.

For a comprehensive list of all PayPal fees, both for mobile processing at everything else, check out this useful page.

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

You are completely free to close your PayPal Here account at any time, or to simply cease using the PPH app for processing and keep your PayPal account. You won’t find any early termination fees or stipulations in your merchant agreement. Considering the industry standard is a three-year agreement with a $300-$400 early termination fee, I’m pretty satisfied with PayPal in this category.

Check out the full PPH user agreement here. You should also read the standard PayPal user agreement here, since you’ll have to agree to it in order to use their mobile service..

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

As we said in our main PayPal review, sales and advertising are incredibly upfront. All of PayPal’s rates are listed in plain sight, so there’s no hidden agenda. Most of its business comes directly through the website or via referrals. PayPal doesn’t have the traditional sales team “pounding the pavement” and harassing potential customers just to make a sale. This is the way business should be done in my opinion. PayPal has managed to solve a problem so well it doesn’t need to shove a product down your throat.

I couldn’t ask for anything more from PayPal Here advertising, except maybe more overt disclosure of the chargeback fee.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

For PayPal Here, you’ll be using PayPal’s main support system. As we covered in our main PayPal merchant service review, PayPal has bunch of different customer service and support options including:

  • Quick Answers
  • Community Forum
  • Phone/Email: (Monday-Friday 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST, Saturday/Sunday 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST). Judging from the online chatter (see “Negative Reviews and Complaints”), PayPal’s phone support is very inconsistent. My advice is to avoid calling if at all possible. Answers to most common problems can be found with just a little bit of searching. Between the knowledgebase, community forum, and quick answers sections, you should be able to find a solution.

PayPal is also very active on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. It even has an AskPaypal Twitter account where reps will field your service and support questions Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.

The almost non-existent customer service offered by Square is one of the major complaints coming from merchants, so I’m thrilled to see PayPal doing better in the service department.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

Unfortunately, PayPal doesn’t have a separate BBB account for its PayPal Here processing, so we’re stuck wading through the 5,194 complaints (down from 6,089) filed in the last three years on PayPal’s main account. (It’s got an A+ rating though, if that means anything to you).

That’s an enormous number of complaints, no doubt about it. But when you actually start reading the complaints and PayPal’s responses, you’ll be impressed. PayPal responds to each concern in a very professional and complete manner, almost always giving refunds even when they don’t have any obligation to. The other issue is that unlike traditional merchant account providers, PayPal is also a consumer-facing business, so a substantial number of complaints also come from users who have had issues with sellers, problems with their accounts and fraud, and any number of other concerns that end users face. The complaints against PayPal don’t all come from merchants. And don’t forget, PayPal and eBay do a massive amount of business together, and so that is also a source of complaints.

The one complaint that you should definitely take to heart is this:

  • Withheld funds, freezing of accounts, and termination of accounts:  PayPal seems to be pretty trigger happy when it comes to suspicion of fraud. It has a history of dealing with major fraud issues, so naturally they scrutinize accounts pretty closely. If you think that your business falls into the high-risk category, then you should know that it’s possible PayPal may withhold some of your funds or even freeze or shut your account down. It may be best to go with a high-risk processor like Durango Merchant Services or Payline Data instead. You can also learn how to avoid holds, freezes, and terminations here.

Still, PayPal seems to do this less than Square does. I don’t know how comfortable I’d be having any of these standalone mobile processors as my sole means to accept cards, since they all are prone to freezes and withheld funds because of a greater risk of fraud.

Another concern:

  • Inconsistent customer service: Much like Square, PayPal’s customer support is designed to efficiently solve 95% of problems with minimal human interaction. When a service works with such a huge base of users, this is necessary in order to keep prices low across the board. But unfortunately that remaining 5% often represent the most pressing problems, including account-specific issues like fraud, chargebacks, funding holds, account suspensions, billing errors, and so on. When it comes dealing with these problems, merchants need to speak with a well-trained and articulate support representative. Unfortunately, judging by complaints, much of the time this doesn’t seem to happen.

But again, Square doesn’t offer any phone-based support. So if you are comparing the two, PayPal definitely comes out on top.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

You can find a demo video that explains how PPH works on YouTube. It covers the basics, but doesn’t include any testimonials.

For those, you’ll have to look at the PayPal for Business YouTube channel, which you can find here. News outlets have also praised PayPal Here, including David Pogue’s NY Times tech blog.

From what I read, users find these features the most useful:

  • Quick funding and access to cash with PayPal debit card
  • Well-designed card reader
  • Ability to accept payments through PayPal accounts
  • No hidden fees

Final Verdict:

I recommend PayPal Here to anyone interested in standalone, pay-as-you-go mobile processing. While it has some shortcomings when compared to traditional merchant account providers, PPH outperforms other mobile processor in my opinion, with better features, comparable pricing, and overall superior user experience. I love the almost-instant funding to my PayPal account alongside the PayPal debit card for quick access to the cash. Most other processors, traditional or pay-as-you-go, take at least 24 hours, but typically 48 hours.

I’m completely comfortable giving PayPal Here a solid 4 stars. It’s no longer our top-rated mobile processor — that honor goes to Flint — but it’s a very respectable rating. If PayPal could work on its customer service, and iron out some of the kinks in its holding process, that would be fantastic… and it might just be enough to bump the rating up. It’ll be interesting to see what additional tools and options PayPal begins offering merchants after it finally spins off from eBay, and we’ll certainly keep you updated.

What’s your experience with PayPal Here? Good, bad, somewhere in between? If you have insights, please leave a comment!

Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processors for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing and keeping credit processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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69 Comments

    Kayla

    Hi Tom,

    I’m interested in starting a small business online. Would the paypal here be the better choice over an actual merchant account at a bank?

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    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Kayla,

    It depends first on your volume, and then your needs. Assuming you’ll be accepting less than $5K per month, you definitely don’t need a merchant account. Even if you are accepting $5K to $10K per month, a merchant account isn’t always the best solution for e-commerce.

    If you really just need payment buttons/payment pages/invoicing, then you can even consider using something like Flint. If you need more features, shopping cart services like Shopify give one-stop solutions at reasonable prices. PayPal is okay, but not the best solution for all businesses. It depends on the features and integrations you’re looking for.

    Hope this helps!

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    Susan Hartley

    Hey Tom,

    I have a been selling craft items on Ebay for about two years. Pretty low volume, usually between 10-30 dollars per sale. I also had a website set up with Go Daddy but never spent much time trying to drive traffic to it so I canceled it just recently.

    I have been trying to find software or a CC processor which would allow me to sell on Facebook without having my own website set up. I saw the information about Square offering on-line selling. Does this allow me to list and sell products (similar to an ecommerce web site) without paying for a stand alone website. Do any of the other providers offer anything similar? I really don’t need the mobile application of these CC providers since all my sales are on-line. Thanks for your help, as you can see I am really confused…

    Susan

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Susan,

    Square would allow you to set up an online storefront with no monthly fee. (Some shopping cart services also provide this with no monthly fee.)

    Flint does not provide you with a storefront, but they do provide hosted payment pages. You can share these pages via social media or email for payment. Each product will have its own payment page.

    Both of these solutions have pros and cons. I’d say check them both out and see which suits your needs better. If you’d like a storefront, Square is better. If you want easily shareable payment pages, Flint is better. In terms of fees, Flint is usually less expensive.

    Good luck!

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    Julian

    Hi Tom,

    I’ve been an Ebay and PayPal user for man years. I usually only buy on Ebay and pay with PayPal, and it’s always worked great when buying, but when it comes to selling, it is now a nightmare in getting your funds.

    PayPal now, instead of just acting like a processing company, is policing sales made on Ebay. I rarely sell on Ebay, but recently I’ve become aware of why so many sellers from Ebay dislike PayPal.

    When selling an item, PayPal will credit the seller’s account, but will not make it available to the seller. Sure, the seller’s account is credited immediately, but PayPal will not release the funds until AFTER PayPal has confirmed that the buyer received the item. Once PayPal can confirm this, then the funds are released which will take about 3 business days for your checking account to be credited.

    If PayPal is a processing company, they should credit the seller’s account immediately and not make the seller wait sometimes as long as 18 days to credit an seller’s account.

    I get that they are trying to minimize their exposure to risk, however if they are still that closely tied to Ebay, they should take into consideration the length the seller has been on Ebay and the feedback. Making a seller wait this long to get paid is ridiculous.

    Because PayPal polices the transaction instead of just processing it, they only get 2 stars from me.

    Thanks,
    Julian

    Rating22222

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    Ruth

    I’ve been using PayPal here for my artisan business at craft fairs for a while. We are opening a brick and mortar store and will be selling for several artisans. I set up a PPH business account. My intent was to set up the consignors in the ‘catalog’ as items so reports could be run based on the individual consignor to figure their payments, taxes etc each month. I’ve set up a couple in the catalog as items, with options like home decor etc. They show up in the app when running daily stuff and receipts, but when I run the CSV or PDF downloads the Item title and Item ID columns remain blank. Any ideas about how I can set this up with PPH business? Appreciate any help you can offer.

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    Michelle

    Hi Tom!

    I’m opening an paint and wine studio/local art boutique and am looking for a new credit processor. I initially was drawn to Square. I like having the i-phone/i-pad platform. What I don’t like is their lack of any customer information data. I’m looking for a processor that will connect with a CRM platform. Any thoughts? I’m trying to be as efficient as I can be as a small business owner with a limited budget and time.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Michelle,

    Square actually does have some CRM features built in (see here). They have a free version that is included automatically, and you can pay $15 monthly (per 500 customers) for a few extra features. So check that out and see if it has the features you’re looking for.

    Unfortunately I don’t believe that they have an export feature that would allow you to bring data from Square to a different CRM software. They have a few integrations available currently, but none for dedicated CRM. This is something worth considering, because it means that if you decide to switch CRM software later on, you’ll have to transfer everything manually (unless they change this).

    Otherwise, you have a ton of iPad/mobile POS options aside from Square, most of which have some CRM built in. You will have to get the payment processing separately (you might consider Payment Depot or Payline Data). This would also leave you with more CRM options.

    Using Square would definitely be the least expensive option. A similar option that could keep costs low would be to pair PayPal Here with Vend POS. That’s one of my go-to Square alternatives for users who need more features but don’t want to sign up for a merchant account.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions.

    -Tom

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    Christine A.

    Hi Tom,

    I would love your help. I volunteer with a non-profit athletic booster club for a high school. We were recently burned by using Flagship Merchant Services. Don’t even want to tell you how much our organization lost with them…so we’re looking for a better alternative for accepting credit card payments. Our group sells spirit wear at football games and at a few other events throughout the year, offers concessions throughout the year, and invites people to become members. We are working on creating a website and we have a Facebook page. We would like people to have the ability to purchase from us or become members in person or over the internet. Which credit card processing company do you suggest? Thank you for your help!

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    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Christine,

    I remember reading your comment on the Flagship review a little while ago. It sounds like they should have referred you to a different payment solution, but instead set you up with an overly expensive account. I really hope that you were able to get some portion of a refund from them.

    I can guarantee you that we can find a better option that will have no risk of overcharging you. It sounds like you won’t be processing more than $3000 per week, and that you may have parts of the year where you process a very small volume. I would recommend that you check out Flint Mobile first and foremost. They have absolutely NO monthly fees. You are only charged a percentage of each transaction. The app allows you to accept payments in-person, and they have other tools that allow you to easily create payment buttons for your website, or payment pages that you can share on Facebook. It’s a great service that I have personally recommended to family and friends.

    The only thing to be aware of is Flint’s processing limits. They are fairly low by default. For many small businesses, this is not a problem. If you need higher limits, you’ll have to submit a request. Usually they are able to raise your limits if needed. If they cannot accommodate the volume you need, then you should check out Payline Data. They have a more complicated pricing structure and feature-set, but they will be able to set you up with higher limits if Flint is unable to.

    Hope this helps. Please come back if you have any other questions.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Kat

    This was a great read. I do have a question though as I can’t seem to find a solid answer on this. I am an artist/leatherworker and am looking to step out into the big bad world at a comic convention next year. I’d love to take Credit and Debit payments. Would you recommend PayPalHere for that or something else? I only plan to operate once a year and could process anywhere from $10 (I sure hope not!) – $3000 (I sure hope so 😉 ) in that one day.

    I do not currently have a smartphone, just an ipod touch but I plan to get one soon. Would love any input or directions you can point me with. I really love this article!

    Rating55555

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Kat,

    If you’re only using it once (or even a handful of times) per year, you definitely want to use a system that doesn’t charge a monthly fee and won’t charge extra for hardware or software related to mobile processing, which leaves you with a few good options.

    Since your needs are so simple, my top recommendation would be Flint Mobile. The app should absolutely work on an iPod Touch running iOS 6.0 or higher, and will work with most smartphones (no app has perfect compatibility across all Android devices, but Flint does pretty well). If your device does not have data access, you will have to make sure that you have a wifi connection. Data or wifi must be present to process transaction through most apps. The default weekly processing limit with Flint is $3000. The default per-transaction limit is $750. You can apply for higher limits if needed. There is no daily limit, so you can process up to $3000 in one day by default.

    PayPal Here is a good secondary option. It may end up being slightly more expensive (because there isn’t a lower debit rate like with Flint), but you have the benefit of a recognizable brand and PayPal acceptance. Flint’s accounts are generally more reliable, but PayPal does alright, especially is you have an existing PayPal selling account.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.
    -Tom

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    Abe Nakamura

    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for your helpful review. Looking through the comments, it seems like you have a good grasp of many credit card reader providers so I was wondering if you could help me with figuring out what to use.

    I am business manager for one of my college’s choirs and would like to have a credit card reader to increase sales at our concerts. Most of our concerts are away from our campus so most of the transaction will occur without internet. Therefore, I will need to have a card reader that will still work in that condition.
    Also, the college doesn’t allow student groups to make bank accounts for their clubs. So, I will be linking my bank account to whatever service I am using, withdrawing that money, and depositing with the college. But then since the business manager of the choir changes almost every year, we would need to be able to change what bank account is linked for depositing.
    Is it possible to get a credit card swiper of some sort that can meet these conditions?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Abe,

    Glad to help.

    Merchant accounts and payment processing services like these are unfortunately not transferable, so if you left a new account would have to be created.

    There are risks involved with linking your personal finances to this account. You become personally liable for anything that happens with the transactions. For this reason, I don’t generally recommend it. Ideally the choir would have its own tax identification number and bank account, or could use an account and ID number associated with the department or college itself.

    Assuming that is not possible and that you are willing to take on the personal financial risks involved, your best option currently on the market is Square. That will be the least expensive option (no monthly fee), and one of the few that allows offline processing.

    When you leave the position, DO NOT simply change the bank account information over to the next manager. The account itself is linked to you personally regardless of which bank account is linked, so it is very important that the account is closed, and a new one is created in the name of the new business manager, if he or she chooses to agree to the terms.

    Hope this helps!
    Tom

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    Lisa Davis

    Hi Tom,
    I am 3 months into opening my boutique. I use Paypal here. Here is my dilemma…on a cash sale of many items there is no way to single out an item for a return. I contacted Paypal and they have no feature for this according to the person I spoke with.
    This really causes havoc on my books, particularly if it is in a previous month.
    So you have to return the entire sale from January for example and redo sale in current month.
    Also
    There is no way to see a list of current returns in the month you have to scroll back thru all months sales to see each return.
    Please advise!
    Thanks,
    Lisa

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Lisa,

    The PayPal Here app is very rudimentary in terms of POS software. It has good basic features and functions well considering it has no monthly fee, but some features, especially ones related to inventory management, are just not there.

    It is very weird that some mobile apps, including PayPal Here, have no partial refund function for cash payments, when there is for card payments. Some apps actually have no cash refund option at all. Unfortunately there is no easy fix for this, except for using a different app. Have you considered using the Vend POS integration? If you only have a handful of items to sell, there is no monthly fee. Otherwise the monthly fee is still pretty low compared to alternatives. The cool thing is that they integrate with PayPal Here, so you can continue to use the PayPal processing service and card reader. While I’m 99% sure that using Vend via PayPal will allow you to do this, you should double check. Vend offers a free trial even if you end up needing their paid version.

    Other than that, the best you can do is mark it as a complete refund and then enter a new transaction, unfortunately.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Karen

    Tom, thanks for the helpful information! I own a hair salon and we have a merchant service account that we use for credit cards/debits in the salon (although I’m seriously thinking of changing!) We need something mobile for an upcoming festival where we will take our products and sell them. We already have a Pay Pal business account for online sales, so Pay Pal Here sounds like the perfect solution for us. Would we need to enter all of our products into the app or can we just enter the dollar amount of the sale?

    Thanks for any advice!!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Karen,

    The app allows you to just type in the amount of the sale if you prefer. You can set it up so that tax is automatically added to this amount, or you can make it so that no tax is added and just the amount you type in will be charged. Adding items to the inventory is completely optional.

    Hope this helps!

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    Karen

    Thanks, Tom! It’s always helpful knowing what to expect before going into these things. And thanks for your hard work keeping all of us in the know!

    Karen

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    D

    I am thinking of opening a PPH account, but have a question. I went to an event recently & bought from a vendor who had at least 100 different kinds of items. It took awhile for her to find my item by scrolling on her phone. She said PPH had no search feature that she could use to speed up the sale. Is that true? Thank you!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi,

    That is fortunately not true. PayPal Here does have a search feature in-app. I just tested it again to make sure. It works well. Just click on the little magnifying glass on the main entry screen. It’s easy to find.

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    lisa

    Looking for mobile proceasing company that I can print a receipt and use with a android phone

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Lisa,

    PayPal Here and Spark Pay should both be able to do exactly that. Just make sure that you check for your specific phone’s compatibility before committing.

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    Judith Knight

    Hi–I hope a question is appropriate rather than a comment. I am a volunteer for a non-profit organization. We hold two consignment sales a year to raise funds for the purchase of books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library that are sent to pre-k children in our county.

    We normally take in $5000-$7000 over 4 days in one sale; we know we could make more if we could offer credit card sales. I am trying to evaluate three services: square, paypalHere and the new Amazon local Register. My initial preference was square but there are so many bad comments about the lack of customer service; I have a personal paypal account and buy a lot from Amazon and know their customer service is outstanding.

    We do not charge sales tax and the accounting is fairly straight forward. Any comments about our choice are really appreciated!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Judith,

    Since your needs are so simple, and you require reliability over bells and whistles, I’d suggest you consider Flint Mobile. While they don’t have all of the fancy features that Square has, they are extraordinarily reliable and consistent.

    My second recommendation would be PayPal Here. Their app has a few more features than the Flint app (including a great system for collecting customer contact info, which could come in handy if you end up using it to collect donations). They also will allow you to accept all major card brands, plus PayPal. (Flint only accepts Visa and MasterCard.)

    Square has actually improved quite a bit recently, so don’t let all of the negative comments scare you off completely. I don’t think you’ll really need all of the features that Square offers, though. You’re better off with a simpler application, I think.

    I’m not confident that Amazon Local Register has worked out all of the kinks in their system yet, so I wouldn’t recommend them at this point.

    Hope this helps!
    -Tom

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    Max

    Hi,
    What would you suggest for Canadian businesses? We often sell online using Square, but some customers are not happy giving (over the phone or email) us CVV and Postal Code which is Square requirement.. What could be another option?

    Max

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Max,

    For Canadian businesses with a low volume looking for a low cost solution, I think Square is actually your best bet.

    Note, however, that you should never have customers provide payment information via email. This is a huge security risk. Square offers a number of solutions to avoid this. Have you considered using Square Invoices to charge these customers? This would allow them to enter in their card data from their own computers. You could also set up a Square online storefront (no added charge for this or the invoices) to avoid this, depending on your business type. All these transaction go through at 2.75%.

    You should also consider that by keying-in the transaction data, you are paying at least 0.75% more per transaction than if they paid by invoice or online.

    All processors will require you to collect a postal code and CVV in order to mitigate risk. Collecting this information by phone is standard operating procedure for all businesses, so you should remind your customers of this. But if you are looking for another great Canadian option, check out Helcim.

    Hope this helps!
    -Tom

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    jim

    Tom I have written once and also called but never heard from anyone on your end…I have a store which I can sometimes do 3,000.00 in a day and up to 14,000.00 a month in credit and debit card transactions. Since I did not hear from you I went with Flint and tried it first today. It was okay but a little slow for me to use and now I know for sure that I can not use it full time because some of my workers are elderly and can not hold the phone still enough. So I want to go with one that you swipe so I would like to know which one would be best for me? I am really tired of the traditional merchants and all their fees that just happen to pop up from time to time…This last month I got a surprise 129.99 fee which hurts me a lot…My store is a one that takes commission which can be a little as 10% so it would take 1300.00 in sales just to pay this one fee and there are so many more fees on top of that one…So really I would like to try a swipe for something different.. So can you help me decide which to try…Thanks for your help
    JIM

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Jim,

    Sorry for the delayed reply!

    The best mobile-based option for you will probably be PayPal Here. You can use it on a smartphone or a tablet, and unlike Flint it includes receipt printer connectivity so you can offer paper receipts. I also like that it allows you to accept all of the major credit card brands, plus PayPal payments.

    Really, though, to get the best value you should consider a traditional merchant account provider. The decreased rates will more than make up for the monthly fees. I understand that expensive hidden fees are worrisome, but all of our preferred providers have been thoroughly screened to ensure you get a fair deal with no $130 fees popping up out of nowhere. You can still use a phone-based swiper even with a traditional account, or you can opt for a countertop machine. I’d recommend that you check out Helcim to start with. If that doesn’t seem like a good fit, come back and we can look at other options. I will reply promptly!

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    jim

    Tom, thanks for getting back to me. I will look at helcim but I was wondering if you have ever heard of Transnational Bankcard? They have a high rating at BBB but their online reviews are horrible. I have had a rep come in recently and promised me a ton of savings from what I am paying now and easy out of the contract if I am not satisfied. These seem to be the same promises that everyone is complaining about saying they are all lies. The rep is very persistent and almost hurt that I don’t trust him but with all bad reviews I just don’t trust him. So again I am wondering if you know about Transnational Bankcard? Should I give them a shot or run? All my business owning friends say run.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Jim,

    With a company like Transnational Bankcard, it’s a crapshoot. It’s possible to get a honest sales rep who sets up a good contract for you, but it’s far from a certainty. My advice is to tell them no thank you. The sales rep you’re dealing with sounds pushy and manipulative. Giving them a shot could end up costing you hundreds of dollars and hours of headache if things don’t work out, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m sure the salesman seems like a nice guy, but remember that he is most likely only interested in getting you to sign the dotted line.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    josh

    Okayy so reading through the reviews about Square, Flint, and PayPal here I’m still confused as to what I should use or what would be the best route. I sell clothing and what not which cost anywhere from $12-$40 and I have a PayPal account for the website I sell on. Would you recommend just sticking with PayPal Here or is there another option you would recommend?I just need it mainly for people who don’t have money on them and have their credit/debit cards at that point in time.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Josh,

    Using PayPal Here makes sense given that you already use PayPal for your website. I’d recommend that you give their system a shot. It works well and is adaptable. If it doesn’t suit you, come back and we can figure out another option for you!

    If you find yourself consistently doing about $4K+ per month, it might be time to switch to a traditional merchant account.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Mike Hart

    Your content is fabulous and I would first like to thank you for providing it.

    I cannot understand something that maybe you could explain. Why is there a difference between mobile processing of payments and POS? It seems Square has essentially both….why the two categories….?

    I need three payment services on two devices for my wife and I. I need to take Credit, Debit (In all formats from scanning cards, Qcodes, NSF etc.), Checks and Cash.

    It appears from reading your site I need multiple different pieces of equipment and software.

    I Need to:
    1. Sell pottery at a remote arts and crafts show
    2. Sell pottery on my online “Store”
    3. Sell at my physical inventory location or “Gallery”…….Shouldn’t I just use my mobile payments equipment ?

    Since I have Paypal and can do both selling and buying transactions it seems to make sense that I center my needs around it.

    Any comments welcome as I try to transition from batching offline transactions on my ‘Dial-up” card reader :-) (Not kidding)

    Be well,
    Mike

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Mike,

    Thank for reading! Here are my thoughts.

    The POS (point of sale) is the software and hardware combination that you use to track inventory, create orders, accept payments, track sales, etc. A mobile payment service bundles payment processing services with rudimentary tablet/smartphone POS software and a headphone jack card reader. (So if you use the PayPal Here app, you must use the PayPal Here processing service. This is not true of other full-featured POS software.) The nice thing about mobile-only systems like this is that they usually don’t have a monthly fee, so if you have a slow month you won’t have to pay extra to keep your account open. They also have very low equipment costs. For low-volume businesses, these systems often make the most financial sense.

    To be able to accept all of the payment types you describe, and to get fair rates while doing it, you’re better off looking elsewhere. PayPal Here will not be able to support EMV chip cards or NFC payments made via digital wallets. They also will not be able to give you a fair rate on your debit transactions. Plus you’ll still have to integrate the PayPal gateway with your online store if you haven’t already.

    Don’t limit your search to mobile processing providers. A processor like Helcim or CDGcommerce will be able to bring you into the 21st century equipment-wise (you’ll love how much faster internet-connected credit card processing is!) and get you the best rates possible on an interchange-plus plan. They can set you up with mobile (smartphone-based) processing, power payments for your online store, and allow you to accept all forms of payment in-store.

    But, that said, there are two scenarios where using PayPal Here might make more sense. First, if you want access to a free tablet-based POS system. (It has limited functionality, but it is free and does have printer connectivity.) There are plenty of other tablet POS options, but you’re looking at $40 per month+ just for the software if you want something full-featured. The other is if you will have a fairly low volume of card payments most months (say, under $5K). At that point, a pay-as-you-go service like PayPal Here can be more cost effective. but it’s worth running the numbers for your own business.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.
    -Tom

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    Bryan

    Hello. What POS should I use for my business? I’m a bail bond agent and I can take in $5,000.00 in one appointment. I’m afraid to go with square because of them holding my money. PayPal here said I was not eligible because of the information I provided. Flint has a limit of $1,000.00. I think. Any recommendations.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Bryan,

    That business type may be considered higher risk. You should check out Payline Data. They are flexible and fair.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Christina

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the good work you do! This is confusing for a newbie. I will be doing art fairs until it gets too hot here in AZ. So I will have months where I don’t use the reader. Sales will probably be about $70 per canvas. No telling how many will sell yet, gotta get a reader. What do you think my best option is? I have a Samsung Note 2, a couple years old. Please advise as I am now totally overwhelmed with info and fear from the scary reviews, yikes!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Christina,

    Have you checked out Flint Mobile? They are our current favorite for inexpensive mobile processing. The two limitations you should be aware of with them are (1) no AmEx or Discover processing is provided, and (2) no paper receipt printing is included. Even so, I find their other features and overall reliability make them a great option, especially for sporadic and low-volume merchants.

    Funding holds and account terminations are always a worry with mobile processors. I find Flint to be most reliable, but PayPal Here isn’t too bad these days either, and Square has actually improved a lot this year.

    Good luck,
    Tom

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    Val Frazier

    Thanks for the Report. It’s a much better, more hopeful one than the One I read from March 2012. I acquired a Reader but couldn’t use it on the Android that I had, unfortunately. I’ve gotten another phone since then (about a year ago) and the Reviews are better and better.

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    John Jang

    I have been waiting patiently for Paypal Here for over a year. When is Paypal going to officially released them here in Canada? I have been using Paypal for over 10 years on my online business and I feel very comfortable using them.
    Also , does Paypal Here scan fraudulent credit cards and rejects them?
    On my Paypal online business, we only shipped out order(s) that have shipping addresses that has been confirmed by Paypal. Online transactions have Seller’s Paypal Protection. The seller is protected when the item have a postal or courier tracking number. High price items must have a signature confirmation. Is there Paypal Seller’s Protection on Paypal Here? We at least probably have to match the signature on the credit card with a signature on an ID – Driver’s licence. However, not all consumers sign their credit cards or have IDs such as a driver’s licence.

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    Brandon

    Is it possible to link the funds transfer to anything other than your paypal account? If I want to link it to my business account is that possible or will I have to login to paypal and transfer funds to that account?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Brandon,

    The nice thing about PayPal Here is that your funds are available in your PayPal account immediately after you complete the transaction. If you want your PayPal account balanced to be transferred to your bank account automatically on a daily basis, you’ll have to have a feature called “auto sweep” activated on your account. In some cases, you will have to contact customer support to enable this feature. Without this feature enabled, you’ll have to manually initiate the transfer to your bank account, since – unfortunately – PayPal requires that you use a PayPal account as your primary account.

    One reason this doesn’t bother me so much is that you can use a PayPal business debit card (free, no monthly fees) to use your funds immediately the same day you process the transaction. But you certainly bring up a noteworthy shortcoming of this service. Consider checking out Flint for faster, more direct withdrawals.

    -Tom

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    helen

    Are you the official complaints department for paypal here?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Helen,

    No, we are an independent review site. If you’d like to submit an official complaint to PayPal, you’ll have to visit their customer support page.

    Best,
    Tom

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    Chester Kallem

    I have been using PayPal. First problem I ran into was their virtual terminal. This could be a great program for small business. But instead they charge a ridiculous fee to use this program. You pay $30 a month for a small business. So I started using their iPhone app. This should be a great program for those of us that do not have a brick and mortar store. Every show it seems that PayPal has a new twist. The last one I ran into was two. First they keep asking to have a picture uploaded or logo. I don’t want that and can’t get rid of the request. But then they decided to force you to be tracked. So now they know where you are making the sale. But it isn’t easy to setup, not forgetting the fact I do not want tracked, and it cost me sales trying to get it set up. And then had to pay the fee for those credit cards I had to hand enter. Some day businesses working with software will learn they should never add these add on programs. Always keep software simple and solid. Just because you ‘can add’ something, doesn’t justify the addition. In this case I not only do not want them tracking me, to add it on cost me sales and made this program difficult to use. Really not something that should ever be added on a credit card acceptor. Someone at PayPal isn’t using their brain real well.

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    Cari

    Darn! The App Store allowed me to download the app, complete registration now the wheels are spinning on the final “registering your device”. Reading your review I know conclude this is because I’m in Canada?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Cari,

    Yes, unfortunately this is the case. Square and GoPayment work in Canada. Of those two, I prefer Square. Depending on your business type, there may be better options. Let me know if I can help your further!

    -Tom

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    Chelsea

    I was wondering if it is at all possible to use the Square POS stand with the paypal app? I have heard scary reviews about Square withholding funds etc. and I am a bit apprehensive to continue working with them since I just began using them. I did buy the stand and enjoy using it so I was wondering if i could continue using it if I did switch over to pay pal.

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Chelsea,

    Unfortunately, the Square Stand only works with the Square app. There are generic iPad stands that can be used with PayPal Here, but they do not offer anything with the integrated card reader like Square does.

    -Tom

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    Rob

    I have been using PPH since it’s early release. I don’t use it often (few times a month) but I am moving to a physical location for my business and am considering using PPH for my sole Point of Sale system.

    I’ve been with Paypal since my business opened 5 years ago and have probably processed over $1 million with them. Sure I have had issues with a couple of chargebacks but honestly that is really all driven by the customer and your interaction with them – not Paypal.

    My concern going forward with PPH as my sole POS is reporting. Integration to Quickbooks is non-existent so I plan on doing weekly inputs from the service side of the business into Quickbooks but so far I don’t see a clean way to get item specific sales reporting on a weekly basis. Are you aware of any solutions to that?

    Also being a POS I would like to integrate a receipt printer and cash drawer (iPad PPH App driven) but when researching on the PPH site it seems that their partner solutions with hardware are in fact separate POS systems that can simply use the PPH card reader and then carry with it their own fees and prices. The app appears to be able to handle adding a receipt printer and cash drawer but no where does it specify what requirements for the hardware are or what can be bought to work with it. Any ideas?

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Rob,

    Their advertising of partner solutions does make it difficult to find the info on hardware compatibility. The info you’re looking for is on this page.

    PayPal Here for iPhone and iPad supports the following receipt printers, as well as printers that are AirPrint or ePrint enabled:
    1. Star TSP 143L (connect via wireless router)
    2. Star TSP 654L (connect via wireless router)
    3. Star SM 220-i (connect via Bluetooth)
    PayPal Here for Android smartphones supports the following receipt printers:
    1. Star TSP 143L (connect via wireless router)
    2. Woosim WSP R240 (connect via Bluetooth)

    and

    PayPal Here works with cash drawers that connect to a Star receipt printer and are equipped with the MultiPro 320 Volt interface connection. Examples include the APG Vasario 1416 and APG Vasario 1616.

    I’m afraid that I can’t be of as much help when it comes to exporting item-specific reports from PayPal. This page has information on general exporting from PayPal to QuickBooks. I know that there are some paid software services that should be able to make this happen for you, but I haven’t tested any so I can’t tell you which is best (or if any actually work well). But maybe take a look at http://www.SimplePort.net.

    Please, please come back and let us know if you find a good solution for this. I’d love to know.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!
    Tom

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    Karen

    Been about a year using PayPal Here for my hair salon with no issues until they abruptly canceled check capture without any prior notice, that was just infuriating!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Karen,

    I was also very disappointed to see that PayPal Here dropped the check capture feature (which I considered a nice selling point for them), and am even more disappointed to hear that they didn’t provide sufficient notice about it. Your bank may have a mobile banking app that allows you to deposit checks with your phone camera (BofA and Chase do, I know), which isn’t as nice as doing it in-app but might be a working alternative.

    -Tom

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    Jim Stauffer

    I haven’t used PPH a lot, but my experiences so far are positive.

    I would like to be able to test PayPal Here™. It is not a good business practice to experience the various ways of utilizing the feature LIVE with customers. If mistakes are made in your learning curve, it does not help your customers’ confidence level. Even worse, what if the mistake made is with several customers at one event, and results in a financial issue? We NEED a test abilitlity.

    Thank you…

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    Mario

    I did a Web design job and accepted $750 as a payment for a job, the job was completed, then received a chargeback issue where the customer did a chargeback from the cc company and paypal took my money away completely. I then submitted the emails and conversations and PDF’s of proof, and Paypal then said sorry, non-tangibles are not covered under the paypal protection. Basically I am out of $750, contacted the customer keeps saying he will call the card company and cancel it (apparently only way i can get my money back) and indeed does not. So watch out if you are selling services with Paypal here because anyone can issue a refund from a card and might I mention this happened over 9 months ago!!!!

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    Marc

    Why does PPH need access to my documents, pictures and videos in my phone? Seems kind of intrusive, and now debating if I should go for it.
    Thanks

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Marc,

    PayPal Here might need access to pictures so you can upload item images, but I don’t know why they’d ask for videos or documents. Can you tell me where you saw this?

    -Tom

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    Merilee

    I’m very interested in using Flint primarily, but wondering if PPH would be a good “second” for accepting Amex. Wondering it there is Quick Books integration with PPH like there is with Flint. Thanks for your help!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Merilee,

    PayPal Here doesn’t include QuickBooks integration. For the purpose of accepting AmEx only, I think Square could suit you fine, and Square is integrated with Quickbooks. While using Square does come with a higher risk for withheld funds, as a secondary account you won’t need to worry about that as much.

    Good luck!
    Tom

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    bransi

    Do they clearly state, how much you are charged to make a withdrawal at an ATM with the debit card they supply? I’m not reading anything that clearly states….

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Brandi,

    The ATM fee from PayPal is $1.00, but you’ll also pay whatever standard fee is charged by the ATM owner.

    -Tom

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    trina

    If I don’t use PPH is there any charges? Ty

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Trina, nope, no charges unless you process cards. Most of the mobile processors work like this, except the few who charge monthly fees. Good luck!

    -Tom

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    Gretchen Schaefer

    Do transactions made with the camera on your phone count as ” keyed in” or normal transactions? This seems like a neat feature on some of these services but I can’t tell if it costs more. Thanks for the comprehensive reviews!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Gretchen,

    With PayPal Here, camera scans are charged the same rate as keyed-in transactions (3.5% +$.15). If you’re interested in a service that allows camera scans without paying more, check out Flint. They don’t use a swiper at all – only camera-based scans.

    Good luck!
    -Tom

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    Levi Adair

    Beware of PayPal Here!!!!! First, they hold 100% of your funds above any amount of $2500.00 for up to 90 days. Second, they REFUSE to post my business account name or even my name on client’s billing statements. This has created a great amount of confusion as I have now had 2 clients file for fraudulent unauthorized charges. All they see is a charge from PayPal on their statement. I even had one client try to research who the merchant was that charged the total amount I charged them and were UNABLE to find my company info anywhere. At this point, I am fearful of authorities coming after me for fraud as I now show 2 fraudulent transactions against me. PayPal refuses to remedy this issue by simply applying my information to billing statements. PayPal simply says “that’s how the system is built and we will not change”, even one of their own customer service agents admits that this is wrong and confusing. Fortunately, my clients are really good smart people and have contacted their credit card companies, but it will take a week or more for the whole issue to be resolved. Also, be sure to check rates of swiped versus keyed in transactions. Does cost more for keyed in. Many of my clients are not on site when I charge their cards which requires keyed transactions.

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    Edward

    Tom, is Levi right when he writes that a card transaction with PayPalHere will only say PayPal in the customers card invoice – opposed to the name of my business?

    If so, that seems like a big thing to mention in any review as I can see the potential for great confusion from customers which will only lead to more chargebacks.

    What about the other merchant options like Flint ect do they all do the same thing?

    Thanks for your advice!

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    Tom DeSimone

    Hi Edward,

    PayPal Here, Flint, Square, and other mobile processor all (should) include your business name (as you provided in your application) in the transaction details on the customer’s statement. The PayPal name is also included, but alongside the business name.

    I personally tested this when I reviewed these companies, so unless something has changed this should be how they handle it. If this is not showing up, you should contact customer service to see what the problem is, because it is an error.

    Hope this helps,
    Tom

    RatingNot Rated

    This comment refers to an earlier version of this review and may be outdated.

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