PayPal’s Plans For Registers Pose Challenge To Square

PayPal finally revealed details surrounding its Cash for Registers program yesterday, enticing merchants to transition to tablet-based MPOS solutions.

And as more specifics of the program and PayPal’s partnerships emerge, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the program has one key target in mind: Square.

The key components of Cash for Registers are simple: PayPal will waive transaction fees for up to $20,000 per month for merchants who trade in their old cash registers for tablet-based MPOS alternatives. Merchants need to upgrade to the PayPal Here application – with supporting hardware – or to ShopKeep POS and Vend, PayPal’s two “pre-integrated partners.”

The program will run from July 10, 2013 through January 31, 2014, and up to 10,000 merchants will be accepted. To be eligible, merchants need simply to apply for PayPal Here and submit proof of purchase of support hardware of $450 or more by September 30, 2013.

“Once their submission is approved, the offer will apply to swiped credit card, debit card and PayPal payments processed by PayPal through PayPal Here, ShopKeep POS or Vend,” wrote Carolyn Groobey, vice president, global products at PayPal in a blog post

“The program is designed to help small businesses modernize their cash registers and get their hands on the same powerful selling tools that big businesses use every day.”

On its own, the details of the program pose quite the challenge to Square, which released it’s own solution, Square Stand, the same day PayPal announced its Register program in May. 

But a second announcement by ShopKeep challenges Square in an even more direct way: undercutting it’s pricing.

“ShopKeep POS, the leading iPad point of sale provider to brick and mortar retailers, has negotiated a fixed, low rate of 2.7 percent for its merchants when they accept credit cards via PayPal – that’s better than Square’s 2.75 percent,” ShopKeep’s statement said.

“Our promise to our merchants is to continue to build out our product in a way that offers choice and flexibility. PayPal as a credit card processor expands the range of processing options our merchants have to choose from, because different types of merchants need different types of processors,” said ShopKeep CEO and Founder, Jason Richelson.

“We’re not a credit card processor and we’re not in the business of locking merchants into our rate. We’re in the business of empowering merchants to make smart choices that suit their business.”

If and when Square will chose to answer this later salvo remains to be seen, but one things for sure: there’s never a dull moment in the MPOS wars.

Read PayPal’s full announcement here.

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