PayPal Here Review: Now PayPal Zettle (US)
This PayPal POS offers ease of use, predictable pricing, and a PayPal card reader, making it a great choice for most merchants who want a simple way to accept payments.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Extensive device compatibility
- In-app invoicing available
- Free sub-user accounts
- Predictable flat-rate pricing
- Ideal for low-volume merchants
- Contactless + chip + PIN card reader
- Time-tested and trusted by consumers
- Account stability issues
- Inconsistent customer support
- Not suitable for high-risk industries
- Not ideal for higher-volume merchants
PayPal POS Overview
Comprised of a mobile card reader and a free mobile app, Paypal Zettle (formerly PayPal Here) is a part of the comprehensive PayPal merchant services ecosystem, which encompasses online card processing, business financing, POS partnerships, and much more.
One of my favorite aspects of PayPal as a whole is the seamless experience provided to merchants. In-person, online, on the go — you can take payments and access your money wherever you happen to be. Setting up an account with PayPal Zettle is easy, which is also important for busy merchants.
Considering its extensive mPOS features, PayPal holds its own. It offers well-designed and up-to-date card readers along with an intuitive, capable app, which is backed by the PayPal name and a wide array of merchant services. PayPal is not without its drawbacks, though — its customer service is inconsistent, and it has less stability than you’d get with a dedicated merchant account.
PayPal Zettle currently gets a decent 4.5-star score. If we were to see an improvement in customer service and if PayPal were to address some of the issues with account stability, that would merit us raising the score. Despite these potential drawbacks, we still recommend PayPal Zettle as a good mobile processing contender. We’re confident that the majority of businesses would be well-served by using this app and PayPal in general.
Read on for our full Zettle review, and if you’ve used the system, please leave a comment with your thoughts or experiences about PayPal Zettle!
Table of Contents
PayPal Zettle App Features & Services
PayPal Zettle makes for quite an attractive mobile POS package. It’s easy to get started, and if you use PayPal for anything else, your information gets consolidated in one place. And along with the mobile card reader, you’ll get the option to have a full countertop register.
Let’s go through the features you’ll get with Paypal Zettle:
Zettle App Features
- PayPal & Venmo QR codes: As offering contactless payment options becomes ever more important, Zettle enables you to accept both PayPal and Venmo QR code payments. Just have your customer scan your QR code using their phone.
- Manual Card Entry: Need to quickly accept payment over the phone? Just enter the customer’s card information into the app along with the amount to be charged. The transaction gets recorded, but no items get added to your sales reports.
- Cash Payments: With the ability to log cash payments, you’ll be able to manage more of your payments in one place. Sadly, the app doesn’t currently allow you to log check payments the way PayPal Here did, though you can still accept checks using the regular PayPal app if you have a PayPal Cash Plus account.
- Item Library: PayPal Zettle lets you build an inventory of products through the dashboard or within the app. Add product images and prices (both the cost price and selling price), sort your products into categories, add up to three item variants for each item, manually adjust your tax rates, enable inventory tracking, bulk import products from a spreadsheet, and more. Stock levels will now update automatically, which is a feature PayPal Here lacks.
- Reports: View sales reports, customize time periods, and export Excel files and PDFs from my.zettle.com. You can access your sales reports by time, specific products, and even by each employee. You can also see a table that shows your ten best-selling products for the selected day, week, or month.
- Discounts: PayPal Zettle supports the option to add discounts at checkout if you’re having a sale.
- Custom Gift Cards: With Zettle, you can offer gift cards to your customers, either in physical form or via email.
- Support For Register Setup: You really can build an entire register setup with Zettle, with support for cash drawers, tablet stands, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. I’ll give you some examples of what you can get in an upcoming section.
- Refunds & Partial Refunds: You can issue both full and partial refunds from the Zettle app and from the online dashboard.
Integrations With Other PayPal Features
- Invoicing: Invoicing features come with your PayPal business account. You can send invoices to customers through the web or directly in the PayPal Zettle app. The invoice itself is free to send, but when you get paid, Paypal takes out 3.49% + $0.49. Being able to send invoices within the app is a major plus.
- 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.
- Recurring Billing: PayPal lets you set up recurring billing options, but this add-on service costs an additional $10/month. Recurring billing requires saving a customer’s information on file. It makes sense you’d pay a little extra for a service that includes the secure data storage and the additional risk involved with a card-not-present sale.
- Sub-User Accounts: PayPal gives merchants a generous 1,000 additional sub-account users with unique permissions (at no extra charge), which is admittedly impressive. As a comparison, Square charges a monthly fee for this feature, as it’s bundled with the premium employee management suite of tools.
- eCommerce: PayPal Zettle integrates with Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce. You can sync all product and inventory changes between both platforms once you integrate with one of the above.
- Accounting: Zettle integrates with QuickBooks Online so you can import your daily sales and payments data into your QuickBooks Online account. PayPal Zettle automatically imports data to QuickBooks Online once every night in your configured time zone.
While there’s nothing particularly new or innovative about the PayPal Zettle app itself, its well-designed, easy-to-navigate features fit the bill for almost any need you’d encounter on the go. As a bonus, most of the features are also easily managed right from within the app, making it a truly mobile option. Plus, connecting to a PayPal point of sale device is a cinch. However, it’s missing a few key features that may be a deal-breaker for some merchants.
One thing that I’d like to see PayPal add is an offline mode. An offline mode allows you to securely add all of your customer’s credit card information into the app despite a non-existent internet connection. Whether you’re offline temporarily due to an outage or you’re offsite, you shouldn’t have to worry about stopping business because of a bad connection. Square is a processor that still lets you swipe cards and then stores that information for up to 72 hours until you get connected. Using an offline mode poses some additional liability in the event of fraud, but it’s minimal. In my opinion, it’s preferable to halting business altogether or writing down credit card information. Doing so can get you in a lot of hot water should that information be compromised or a chargeback occurs.
PayPal Mobile Card Reader
While PayPal Here gave users four different card readers to choose from, PayPal Zettle offers just one: the Zettle Reader 2. However, I’m not too upset about this, as the Zettle Reader 2 offers everything that the most advanced PayPal Here reader offered, and at a lower price point. Your first Zettle Reader will cost just $29, with additional readers costing $79 apiece.
This Bluetooth-enabled contactless + chip + PIN card reader requires a 3G, 4G, or wi-fi connection, and it connects to all Apple (iOS 10+ required) and Android (Android 5+ required) smartphones and tablets. Along with credit and debit cards, the Zettle Reader 2 accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay contactless payments. PayPal states that its battery should last about 8 hours or 100 transactions and that it takes 1-2 hours to charge via USB cable, but if you don’t want to worry about charging, you can order the Zettle Dock 2 for $49 to ensure that your reader stays charged throughout your sales day.
One thing the Zettle Reader can’t do is accept magstripe payments, though this becomes less of an issue with each passing day.
PayPal Here also supports register setups with tablet stands, receipt printers, and barcode scanners. Receipt printers depend on which OS you’re using. Cash drawers, according to PayPal, are supported if they “connect to a Star receipt printer and are equipped with the MultiPro 320 Volt interface connection.” For Apple and Android users, your device’s camera acts as a barcode scanner.
PayPal Zettle POS Systems
If it’s a full POS system you want, Zettle offers four different options (referred to as Store Kits). These Store Kits range in price from $249 to $699. Each kit includes a Zettle Reader 2 and can include (depending on the Kit you get) a dock, an iPad stand, a Smart Printer, thermal rolls for said printer, and a barcode scanner. Each of these accessories is available separately as well, along with a cash drawer. See the Zettle Shop for details and pricing.
PayPal offers a great mobile reader as well as some handy add-on accessories. PayPal Zettle earns a good rating in the products and services category, but that could be bumped up to excellent if the reader had an offline mode. There isn’t much to complain about here!
PayPal POS Fees & Rates
PayPal does a great job disclosing its fees and rates. Apart from the transactions themselves, you pay nothing unless there’s a chargeback (which is fairly rare in card-present environments).
If you’re only using PayPal Zettle, though, this is what you can expect to pay:
- Card-Present Transactions: 2.29% + $0.09 per transaction
- Manually Entered Or Scanned Transactions: 3.49% + $0.09 per transaction
- QR Code Transactions ($10.01 and above): 1.9% + $0.10 per transaction
- QR Code Transactions ($10.01 and above): 2.4% + $0.05 per transaction
High-volume merchants may be able to negotiate better rates — contact PayPal for a custom pricing plan.
Note that merchants currently using PayPal Here who opt to stick with it will continue to pay PayPal Here fees and rates, which are:
- Swiped Transactions: 2.7% per transaction
- Manually Entered Or Scanned Transactions: 3.5% + $0.15 per transaction
- International Fees: You can accept non-US cards for the standard 2.7% per swipe plus a 1.5% cross-border fee and/or 2.5% currency conversion
Whether you sign up with PayPal Zettle or you’re still using PayPal Here, you won’t pay any:
- Monthly/annual fees
- PCI compliance fees
- Setup fees
- Equipment fees
You won’t find hidden fees with PayPal Here or with the core PayPal offerings. If you process a lot of American Express transactions, you could potentially save money with PayPal because of its flat-rate pricing. You’ll end up paying less for American Express transactions with PayPal, but you might pay a little bit more for some kinds of Visa and Mastercard transactions than you would with a different merchant account.
Please note: Pricing comparisons like this can get complicated, and this is a generalized explanation. If you want to know more about pricing for credit card processing and how PayPal Here fees compare to other options, check out our complete guide to credit card processing rates and fees.
The other thing you should be aware of is that there is a $20 chargeback fee. That’s pretty standard in the industry because dealing with chargebacks is a headache for any payment processor. We recommend that every merchant understand how to prevent them in the first place. Check out our article on how to avoid merchant account holds, freezes, and terminations to learn more about how to protect your account and minimize chargebacks.
Because PayPal offers easy-to-understand rates, doesn’t charge hidden fees, and the fees themselves are fair, the company has earned an excellent score in this category.
Paypal Zettle Transaction Limits
PayPal Zettle’s transaction limits are as follows.
Chip and PIN (incl. contactless):
- $500,000 USD limit per 24 hours
- $10,000 USD limit per card and payment
Chip and signature:
- $200,000 USD limit per 24 hours
- $10,000 USD limit per card and payment
The minimum amount for a single payment is $1 USD.
PayPal Business Debit Card
If you want to make purchases directly from your PayPal business account, the PayPal Business Debit Mastercard lets you do so while earning an unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases. The card also lets you instantly transfer funds between your bank account and your PayPal account without paying any fees. Read our PayPal Business Debit Card review for more information.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
PayPal is quite upfront about its sales and advertising. You’ll find all of PayPal’s rates in plain sight, so there’s no hidden agenda or bait and switch to worry about. Most of its business comes directly from the website from existing PayPal users or via referrals. That’s the way business should be done, in my opinion. PayPal has managed to solve a problem so well it doesn’t need to use tricks of the tongue or too-good-to-be-true quotes that lure you into signing up.
As far as PayPal Zettle goes, PayPal devotes a section of its website to Zettle, including pages dedicated to the mobile card reader, POS kits, and pricing. As for Zettle’s own website, it doesn’t yet have any information specific to its US offerings — when I visited the website, I was redirected to its UK site. However, you’ll find all the information you need on PayPal’s own Zettle pages.
That about covers the gamut for advertising and marketing. Everything is upfront and easy to understand, which is why PayPal earns an excellent rating in this category.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
PayPal is a third-party payment processor, which means it aggregates accounts as opposed to creating individual merchant accounts for each business. This model makes signing up more accessible since approval is also a simpler process with fewer hoops to jump through. Most merchants can sign up and start processing on the same day. As far as additional fees, you won’t face any added monthly costs or early termination fees with PayPal Zettle.
If you already have a PayPal business account, it’s fairly easy to start using PayPal Zettle — though you’re not automatically guaranteed access. You’ll have to apply and wait for the approval. Merchants who don’t get approved are understandably upset. However, PayPal usually doesn’t offer any information about why.
While you won’t need to sign a 3-year contract, you will be signing a contract, so take the time to understand what you’re signing. Before you sign any user agreement, no matter the provider, make sure you read all of the fine print, as this holds all of the information you need about fees, security, usage, and more. All in all, we are happy to give PayPal an excellent rating in this category because of the freedom it gives you to change your mind or scale when needed. It’s a win-win!
Customer Service & Technical Support
For PayPal Zettle, you’ll be using PayPal’s main support system. PayPal has a bunch of different customer service and support options, including:
- Community Forum: The PayPal Community space has over 4.6 million members with over 2 million posts and over a thousand people online at any time. You can ask any question here and likely get a quick response. However, keep in mind that PayPal doesn’t guarantee the answers here. You’ll find a dedicated spot for business owners called the PayPal Merchant Community, with subsections on merchant products and services, business tools, reporting, managing risk and fraud, and more. It seems to be an effective space to share ideas, frustrations, and solutions with an easy-to-search knowledgebase.
- Help Center: You can search and find answers for issues, including password and account access, account setup, payments-specific matters, such as holds and declines, as well as other how-tos.
- Phone/Email: PayPal’s phone support is notoriously inconsistent and why it gets a fair rating in this category. If you have an account-related issue, you’ll have to call. For most other questions, concerns, or problems, you can find help through one of PayPal’s other support channels.
- Social Media: In addition to the primary Twitter account and Facebook, there’s a support Twitter account where PayPal will field your service and support questions.
The biggest mark against PayPal is the shoddy customer service via phone. When you need help, you probably don’t have time to worry about inconsistent phone service. While we love all of the ancillary support options, a company as large as PayPal could do better, so it gets a fair rating in this category.
PayPal POS Reviews, Complaints, & Problems
Negative PayPal Mobile POS Reviews & Complaints
Zettle only arrived in the US about a month ago, so there is very little US-based feedback about the system. PayPal Zettle currently gets an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 at the Apple store, based on just 16 ratings. What’s more, there is no Zettle BBB account. Internationally, however, Zettle is very well-regarded, with most customer complaints relating to connectivity issues and sudden account terminations (an issue that pops up frequently with PayPal itself, as you’ll see).
As or PayPal Here, there aren’t too many PayPal Here reviews out there, as the service doesn’t typically get specific attention from review sites. PayPal doesn’t have a separate BBB account for its PayPal Here processing. It doesn’t even have a separate BBB account for its consumer wallet versus its merchant services. That means the thousands of complaints on PayPal’s BBB are a mixed bag of complaints about its P2P payments transfers, eBay, and other customer-initiated eCommerce transaction and merchant complaints. Very few complaints relate specifically to either PayPal POS app.
Regarding PayPal in general, the one concern that you should take to heart is this:
- Withheld Funds, Freezing Of Accounts, & Termination Of Accounts: As a third-party processor, PayPal is an aggregator, which means there’s an inherent amount of account instability. You can get set up almost right away, but PayPal analyzes your processing habits to make sure you’re not too much of a risk. Upticks in processing volume and other red flags may trigger an account review, followed by a hold/reserve, a freeze, or even an account termination. But that’s ultimately the risk of using an aggregator, so complaints about PayPal holding funds aren’t exactly unique. (You’ll find these with Square, too.) We recommend that merchants learn how to avoid holds, freezes, and terminations by reading our post on the subject.
Other consistent complaints about PayPal include:
- Inconsistent Customer Service: Much like Square, PayPal’s customer support is designed to solve most problems efficiently with minimal human interaction. You probably don’t need to talk to a person to troubleshoot a lot of issues you might encounter. However, for some things, you’re going to need to speak to someone. Phone support seems to be hit or miss, but if you do have a problem, you can often go through the BBB and get to a real person.
- Glitches & Syncing Issues: Not surprisingly, some PayPal Here users have become frustrated that recent updates to the app have led to little bugs that cause the app to crash. Some might be device-specific. And, of course, especially in the Android system, not every device works perfectly with the app. We’ve also seen a few reports of merchants citing connectivity issues related to the physical devices syncing correctly.
That’s really about it for complaints. Want to understand more about how we rate companies and how your comments come into play? Check out our articles about our rating and scoring system as well as negativity bias.
Positive PayPal Mobile POS Reviews & Testimonials
As I mentioned, international feedback regarding PayPal Zettle is largely positive, with the following aspects receiving praise:
- Easy-To-Use App: Many user comments note how easy it is for the average business owner to use Zettle.
- Quality Card Reader: Users tend to praise the reliability, speed, and battery life of the Zettle card reader. Its support for contactless payments is also appreciated.
- Fair Pricing: Zettle’s flat-rate pricing and lack of extraneous fees are appreciated by Zettle’s international users.
Zettle gets a very healthy 3.9 stars based on more than 38,000 ratings in Google Play (which combines US and international reviews).
As for PayPal Here reviews, this is what users like best about the mPOS app:
- Quick Funding & Access To Cash With PayPal Debit Card: Your money goes into your PayPal account almost instantly, and you can spend it online. With the debit card, you can spend it anywhere — and you’ll get 1% cash back. Most other processors, traditional or pay-as-you-go, take at least 24 hours. And now, PayPal has an instant transfer option to move funds to your bank for a nominal fee of $0.25.
- Well-Designed Card Readers: The PayPal chip card readers are well designed and affordable.
- Easy-To-Use App: The PayPal Here app is intuitive and easy to understand, even to someone who may not be familiar with taking mobile payments.
- No Hidden Fees: When processors start tacking on extra fees, merchant profits start going away. But you won’t run into that with PayPal Here — ever.
- Seamless Integration With PayPal Business Account: Many merchants these days sell in stores, online, and on the go, because PayPal integrates everything seamlessly. You won’t need to run reports from different sources to compare them — all your data (and your money) is available in one place.
Overall, the reviews in the app stores for both PayPal Zettle and PayPal Here are very positive, indicating that both are well-designed apps with good features. PayPal Zettle earns a good rating as a whole in the user review category.
PayPal Zettle FAQ
Final Verdict On The PayPal POS App
PayPal may have some shortcomings when compared to traditional merchant account providers (namely, spottier customer service and a greater risk of account holds and terminations), and it doesn’t quite match up to the value of Square. Still, PayPal Zettle has everything most new and mid-sized businesses need to take payments on the go. What’s more, the fact that PayPal Zettle’s inventory system is an upgrade over that of PayPal Here will be beneficial for new PayPal POS merchants.
We can wholeheartedly recommend PayPal Zettle’s mobile card reader to anyone interested in standalone, pay-as-you-go processing. PayPal Here gets a robust 4.5 stars for its ease of use, great hardware, transparency, and overall dependability. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s undoubtedly among the top mPOS apps on the market today.
If you already have an online store or you’re looking to start one, PayPal a lot to offer in this area. Check out our full PayPal review for a thorough rundown of the company’s online credit card processing and the other myriad tools in PayPal’s payments arsenal.
Before making a final decision, however, you may want to check out some of your other options to compare features and decide what’s best for your particular business type. To that end, our payment processing reviews are a great place to start. Consumer Affairs, Google Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau are also good places to check. Checking up on reviews can clue you in to any ongoing issues as well as how the company responds to those issues.
Once you’re ready to absorb more information, check out our list of top-rated merchant account providers and mobile processors. And if you just hate PayPal for whatever reason, have a look at the top PayPal alternatives for businesses.
Have you used PayPal Zettle? How do you like it? Please leave us a comment and tell us all about it! We love to hear from our readers about their experiences using the products we review. We can also help you answer any questions you have.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.