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22 February 2013

PayPal Here mobile payment system coming to Europe

Last year PayPal took on Square in the mobile payments arena with the introduction of PayPal Here — and now it's bringing the service to Europe, albeit with some different hardware. The original PayPal Here uses a triangle-shaped attachment that hooks up to a merchant's iPhone or Android device, allowing them to scan the magnetic strip on a customer's credit card.

For the international deployment, however, the company is using a separate scanning device — roughly the same size as a smartphone — that connects via Bluetooth to a merchant's smartphone. It's designed to work in concert with the more rigid set of rules and guidelines in places for such transactions in Europe; in the UK, the system is branded as "Chip and PIN."

That said, the essential functionality remains the same — though a two-device solution may prove a bit more cumbersome. The Chip and PIN version of PayPal Here will be coming to some UK business in the coming months, with a full launch to follow in the summer. It will be rolling out to other markets that use the system sometime thereafter. According to Reuters, PayPal will charge customers a "nominal" fee for the new device, and will also be taking a per-transaction fee, much like it does with the US version.