Rumor Mill: PayPal launching mobile payment dongle to rival Square

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PayPal is expected to unveil a mobile payment dongle device to rival similar technologies from competitors including Square and Intuit.

Citing sources familiar with PayPal's plans, GigaOM reports the eBay-owned company will officially introduce the dongle at a Thursday event targeting the small business sector. The dongle--said to be shaped like a triangle--will enable users to process credit and debit card transactions via mobile device, enabling PayPal to extend its services to food trucks, craft fair vendors and other startups without a fixed location. PayPal declined to comment, but a spokesperson said "We're unveiling what we believe will be the future of commerce for small businesses."

PayPal is currently trialing mobile wallet services across more than 2,000 Home Depot stores across the U.S., enabling consumers to pay for items at checkout via mobile device or a special PayPal card. PayPal first revealed its brick-and-mortar payment plans in September 2011, promising to introduce digital commerce solutions optimized across all devices, not just mobile phones, and encompassing funding options including cash, credit and installments. In addition to mobile and point-of-sale payments, PayPal will launch geo-targeted mobile advertising campaigns, barcode scanning tools and real-time inventory data.

PayPal boasts more than 104 million active users in 190 countries, with more than 8 million merchant partners. PayPal handled more than $4 billion in mobile payments in 2011--the company is expected to top $7 billion in mobile payment volume this year, according to eBay CEO John Donahoe.

The rumored PayPal dongle will face stiff competition, most notably from Square, the mobile payment startup led by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. More than a million merchants nationwide now accept credit and debit cards via Square, and the company now processes more than $4 billion in payments each year. The Square reader is sold across more than 9,000 Apple, Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart retail locations nationwide.

For more:
- read this GigaOM article

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