- Adding another tool to lure small businesses, PayPal has launched its Zettle point-of-sale terminal in the U.S., according to an Oct. 11 press release. PayPal introduced the system in Europe last year.
- The terminal comes with a SIM card, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, enabling small businesses to transact wherever they are. Merchants can also use its integrated barcode scanner and attach the terminal to a dock with a built-in receipt printer, according to the press release.
- The POS terminal accepts credit cards, contactless cards and digital wallets, as well as the company’s trademark PayPal and Venmo payments. PayPal is developing a feature that will allow sellers to access funds from their completed sales in their PayPal accounts in minutes, per the announcement.
If a Zettle rollout in the U.S. sounds familiar that may be because PayPal launched its Zettle reader in the U.S. last year. While a reader accepts cards and contactless payments, it has to be paired with other devices, such as an iPad stand, receipt printer and barcode scanner, to act like a full point-of-sale system.
By contrast, the Zettle terminal is a standalone, mobile piece of equipment that combines all those POS features in one place on a touch screen.
With the U.S. rollout of the new terminal, the payments pioneer enters a crowded point-of-sale arena.
Many rivals also aim to capture market share among small businesses seeking point-of-sale systems. For instance, a big competitor in the arena, Block-owned Square, last month added a tap-to-pay feature directed at allowing transactions with tech giant Apple’s iPhone.
Startups are also raising capital to expand. After releasing its POS system in April 2021, Podium raised $201 million later that year to attract more small businesses and to create more payments, communications and marketing features.
In May, SpotOn, the restaurant payments provider, raised $300 million, pushing its valuation to $3.6 billion. The company has counted multiple Major League Baseball stadiums among users of its point-of-sale stations.
Meanwhile, major banks are looking to enter the POS space, too. PNC Financial Services Group bought Linga, a POS and payments company, for an undisclosed sum in September. For PNC, the acquisition enables the bank to provide better corporate payments capabilities and investing tools for its business clientele, the bank said at the time in a statement.
Such fundraising and acquisitions come as investing in payment startups cools off. An analysis from the research firm PitchBook found that payment startups raised $7.59 billion in venture funding in the second quarter this year, down 18.7% from the previous quarter. Still, point-of-sale startups raised $22.9 billion the second quarter, the most of all the payments startup categories in the analysis.
With startups vying for POS market share, established payments companies have also been introducing new features or seeking to add customers from different sectors. Oracle debuted a flat-rate payment software tailored to U.S. restaurants. And last month, Shopify unveiled POS Go, a mobile point-of-sale terminal that lets merchants accept chip, swipe and tap payments.
It’s not clear how adoption in Europe is faring so far. A spokesperson for PayPal declined to share how many merchants have adopted use of Zettle since its initial launch in the United Kingdom in October 2021. The plan was to roll it out to additional European markets last year and this year, the company said in a release at that time.
Starting at $199, the Zettle point-of-sale system currently integrates with software like Adobe, Intuit QuickBooks and WooCommerce, according to PayPal's website.
With the new all-in-one, mobile point-of-sale terminal, small businesses “can meet their customers wherever they are, more effectively compete, and grow," Ed Hallett, senior director of SMB solutions at PayPal, said in a statement. The aim is to help small and midsize businesses “sell seamlessly in person, bring flexibility to the checkout process, and enable businesses to offer their customers choice when it comes to how they want to pay," he added.
The introduction of the Zettle terminal is another PayPal attempt to attract small business clients. In June, the company partnered with Mastercard, WebBank and Concerto Card Company to create small business credit cards. The cards offer small businesses free employee cards, 2% cash back on purchases and discounts through the card networks savings program.