PayPal to launch mobile payment service in Europe
The United Kingdom will be the first country in Europe to benefit from the new system when it launches this Summer, with other countries expected to follow soon afterwards.
PayPal's mobile payment service, PayPal Here, debuted in several countries last year including the United States, Australia and Japan. The new service was developed in response to PayPal’s competitor, Square Inc, launching their own service which allows a smartphone to act as a card reader.
For its European release, the PayPal Here device had to be completely redesigned to facilitate Europe’s Chip and PIN system, as opposed to the simpler magnetic strip system which is used in the United States. A payments industry expert at Aite Group, Rick Oglesby, discussed the difficulty of developing a mobile payment service in Europe, stating that "Trying to figure out how to make Chip and PIN to work in these devices has been hard.The gadgets so far have been fairly expensive and big and clunky." The completed device which will debut in Europe this year will be roughly the size of a smartphone.
PayPal is currently the world’s leading online payment service but has been facing stiff competition from several other companies in recent years, particularly Square Inc.