Microsoft is partnering with PayPal to provide better and more convenient point-of-sale (POS) systems for small businesses seeking a convenient way to accept payments. The plan also looks to bring Microsoft's Surface tablet, as well as other devices, to a wider set of users.
Small businesses leveraging the Windows platform will soon have access to a new PayPal Here card reader, which will include payment support for Microsoft Surface, an accompanying Windows 8.1 app and SDK. Businesses can process credit card, debit card and PayPal transactions through the Windows platform via the PayPal Here SDK and a soon-to-be-launched app. Both the app and new reader will be available in the Windows store later this year.
PayPal Here capabilities will extend to the Surface Pro 3 tablet, Lumia 830 and 635 smartphones, and other devices running Windows 8.1 software. Microsoft and PayPal also intend to collaborate with ISV partners such as Canvas and iConnectPOS to create custom business apps for the Windows SDK platform, according to a blog post written by Brad Brodigan, vice president and general manager of retail at PayPal.
The strategic collaboration between Microsoft and PayPal stems from the idea that most small businesses use laptops to handle inventory, supply, customer relationship information and accounting. However, laptops lack the personalized interaction and mobile capabilities that tablets can provide. Companies can avoid purchasing two devices by investing in a single hybrid machine that both performs operations-related tasks and engages with customers.
Microsoft and PayPal’s partnership reflects a growing focus on marketing to small businesses; specifically, this announcement gives organizations an economic reason to invest in Microsoft devices. Not only does this solution provide a strong POS system; it gives 20,000 Windows developers a new platform to drive creation in the retail space.
“To me, the most important piece [of the mobile point-of-sale market] is to provide solutions that are flexible enough to meet the needs of all types of merchants, and that’s why this partnership with Microsoft is so important for us,” said Brodigan to Mobile Payments Today. “Not only are we providing the PayPal application on the Windows network, but we’re also providing the PayPal Here SDK to the developer network to create customized services.”
Later in 2015, PayPal will release a PayPal Here reader to support EMV transactions. Short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, this technology involves embedding computer chips into credit cards for added security.