PayPal may have just launched a trojan horse in its bid to beat Apple in the world of mPayments: The updated PayPal Here card reader features NFC technology that is compatible with Apple Pay and many other contactless payment options.
It’s an inexpensive device aimed at providing a quick and easy POS payment option for small businesses, and it works in conjunction with the PayPal Here app. The move to upgrade it with NFC capabilities was perhaps inevitable, given that more consumers are enjoying the benefits of contactless payments; nevertheless, it certainly provides a bit of a leg-up to Apple Pay, the current leader in mPayments and a chief rival of PayPal as it aims to move into that space as part of a broader payments revolution strategy.
Of course, in the long run, it could prove to be a win-win, helping to spread the popularization of mPayments among both consumers and business and to build the technology infrastructure to support it. If and when PayPal eventually launches its own mPayment platform – and it has gestured in that direction – there could thus be a ready market for it. Moreover, with Apple at least somewhat dependent on that infrastructure, the company could prove to be a less hostile rival down the line, and may even turn into something of an ally.
In any case, business owners and consumers – including Apple Pay users – have reason to celebrate the arrival of the upgraded device.