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Hear, Hear: PayPal Here Product Name Review

By Mark Skoultchi

March 22, 2012

Thanks to PayPal’s new mobile card reader, the buck doesn’t stop, but starts Here™, –or rather, wherever your smartphone or tablet happens to be. The triangular attachment fits into your headphone jack, and you can use it to swipe your credit or debit card. It comes with a merchant app that tracks receipts, takes pictures of checks and credit cards (if you don’t have the attachment handy), and even creates invoices.

Although PayPal’s VP President of Mobile David Marcus never directly mentions Jack Dorsey’s Square in his formal announcement, the new gadget is positioned to compete squarely against the scrappy (and successful) start-up.  (PayPal was no doubt lured by the estimated $4 billion flowing through Square’s transactions every year).

Marcus calls PayPal Here “the world’s first global mobile payment solution that allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment” – credit, debit cards, PayPal, and checks. Unlike Square, its app targets both consumers and merchants with a “local” button, letting customers pay participating partners like Home Depot directly (a service launching in some 2,000 stores this year).

PayPal teamed up with fuseproject to create the product’s “arrow-like form that references the physical world where payments happen one-on-one, and also the virtual cloud world that enables these forms of payments.” The triangular form factor is a clever, design-minded wink against the prime competition, but other challengers aren’t far behind, including Eventbrite’s At The Door Card Reader/Mobile Box Office, Intuit’s GoPayment, and Verifone’s PAYware Mobile.

For PayPal, this product represents a major departure, its first foray into the world of physical person-to-person payment. It’s a natural extension of the PayPal service portfolio and brand, and the name suits the overall brand personality. Simple, short, and succinct, the name ties nicely with the masterbrand “PayPal,” now a common verb, (i.e. “Hey, let me PayPal you that money, yo.”)

As one of the most essential real English words, “Here” as a name is clear, yet contains rich layers of meaning. (It verges on the existential; after all, it’s one of the first concepts that we learn as humans…”Oh, I’m here.”) “Here” focuses on the target audience and freshly, yet familiarly conveys its benefit: the ability to do business here and now, here and again, here there and everywhere.

Name Grade: A-

Grade:
A-
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