PayPal has launched its NFC-enabled card reader, which small businesses can use to take contactless payments wherever they trade.

The product has been brought to market as contactless payments continue to grow in popularity, with Visa Europe recently reporting that 1.1 billion contactless transactions were made by its European cardholders alone over the last 12 months.

The PayPal Here card reader, which has an up-front cost of £79.95 followed by a 2.75% fee per transaction, accepts contactless payments from Visa, Maestro and MasterCard debit and credit cards, as well as Apple Pay.

The PayPal Here app and card reader will continue to process Chip and PIN payments and those taken by swiping the magnetic stripe, as well as offering a range of other services, such as invoicing and receipt processing – and cash and cheque logging.

Users can download the free PayPal Here mobile app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play before following on-screen instructions to link the new card reader wirelessly to their smartphone or tablet device.

Cameron McLean, managing director at PayPal UK, commented: "Contactless payments are taking off in Britain, with over 58 million contactless cards in use and spending on them trebling in 2014.

"The new PayPal Here card reader is a game changer for businesses wanting to respond to customer demand for 'tap and go' payments. It also accepts Apple Pay transactions, so the smallest of businesses can now offer the latest way to pay wherever they trade."

Meanwhile, out-of-home advertising has started appearing in recent weeks to market PayPal's payments partnership with petrol provider Shell.

Shell has teamed up with PayPal to offer mobile payments for petrol

Shell customers across the UK can now pay for their fuel using their mobile, without leaving their car, following changes made to the Shell Motorist App. After driving into the forecourt, the customer selects the corresponding pump on the app and the transaction is authenticated.

When refuelling is complete a receipt is automatically sent through to the phone, letting the consumer drive away without having to enter the shop.

Commenting at the time of launch, Rob Harper, director for mobile commerce at PayPal UK, said: "Our partnership with Shell takes us further down the road to the day you can leave your wallet at home and pay with your phone."

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