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PayPal Zettle is a complete point-of-sale, or POS, system that allows you to take payments, manage inventory, track sales and receive reports. It replaces PayPal Here, the company's previous POS product. While just launched in the U.S. earlier this year, a version of Zettle has been available in parts of Europe since 2011.
Zettle delivers essential POS features at a low cost with a small commitment. Although the system can be expanded through hardware, it doesn’t currently offer plan upgrades or add-on features, such as the customer loyalty and email marketing programs available with Square POS.
Note: While PayPal Here is no longer offered, existing customers can continue to use the product.
No monthly fees for the POS app.
First reader is discounted to $29 and additional readers cost $79. Price includes USB cable. Compact store kit starts at $249 and increases to $578 with addition of an iPad.
Payment processing cost
Cost of 2.29% plus 9 cents per card-present transaction and 3.49% plus 9 cents per manual entry card transaction.
No long-term contracts.
Customer support is provided by phone or messaging after logging in to your account. Phone support is offered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT every day. Email support is offered 24/7. A resolution center and a community forum are also available.
Ease of use
It’s easy to use and navigate. Getting started is straightforward and can be done by downloading the app and registering for an account.
How does PayPal Zettle work?
The PayPal Zettle POS app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. It requires an Apple iOS of 12.1 or later or Android OS of 8 or later; you'll also need to be on a 3G, 4G or 5G cellular network, or on Wi-Fi.
After downloading the Zettle app to your device, you can create an account and order a card reader. The card reader lets you accept credit and debit card transactions and contactless payments.
Your mobile device acts as a POS to take payments, track sales, generate reports, manage inventory and monitor staff productivity. You’ll also have the option to collect customer email addresses and integrate with accounting and e-commerce apps.
PayPal Zettle POS functions
Zettle has the typical core features you would expect in a POS system.
Zettle accepts payments by credit and debit cards, digital wallets and QR codes. This includes Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Venmo and others. In addition to in-person transactions, you can accept payments over the phone, create invoices and send payment links to customers.
You’ll pay a flat rate of 2.29% plus 9 cents per card-present transaction and 3.49% plus 9 cents per manual entry card transaction. Funds are typically transferred to your PayPal account within one business day, and you have the option to set up deposits to your bank account.
Card reader and hardware
Your first reader is discounted to $29. Each additional reader costs $79. The Zettle card reader connects by Bluetooth, and it works with iOS and Android devices. It has eight hours of battery life and charges with a USB cable.
You can purchase additional hardware, including a reader docking station, iPad stand, cash drawer and bar code scanner. A Zettle docking station is $49 and allows you to charge your reader while docked. A number of ready-made kits are also available starting at $249.
Sales tracking and reports
The app allows you to track sales and receive automatic reports. In the reports section of the app, you’ll find an overview of the prior day’s sales numbers. More detailed reporting is available in your Zettle account, including a summary of sales, a breakdown of payment types and fees, top-selling products, gift cards sold and staff performance. These reports can be exported to PDF, Excel or a raw data format.
The app allows you to build a product library. You can import a product list from a spreadsheet, group the products by category, and then add photos, descriptions and bar codes. New products can be added, too. Inventory can be managed from the app or your online account, and you’ll be notified when it’s time to restock products.
Zettle POS integrates with the accounting app QuickBooks Online and with the e-commerce apps Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. After setting up the connection, data can be automatically imported into QuickBooks Online every night. Your products from e-commerce websites can be imported to your Zettle product library and inventory changes synced between platforms.
Benefits of PayPal Zettle
Solid basic features
If you want the core functionality of a POS system, you’ll find it with Zettle. It has a robust payment system that can handle card, digital wallet and QR code transactions, plus allow you to manually enter payments. You can add discounts, enter refunds and issue receipts. Features to help you manage your inventory, monitor top-selling products, and track the productivity of your staff are also included.
Low initial costs
Getting started with Zettle is quick, easy and inexpensive. The software is free and the first card reader is priced at $29. Because there isn’t a long-term commitment, you can try the system out at minimal cost. The flat rate fees for payment processing are reasonable; they're similar to those of Square POS.
Drawbacks of PayPal Zettle
No add-on features
While Zettle provides the core features you expect in a POS system, it limits you to a single plan. Zettle competitors offer multiple plans or give you the opportunity to purchase add-on features like customer loyalty programs, email marketing or advanced reports. You can expand your Zettle system through the purchase of more hardware, but not by purchasing additional features.
Zettle offers a limited number of app integrations. Some competitors offer integrations for a larger number and variety of apps, including those for accounting, e-commerce, customer engagement, scheduling and employee management.
Alternatives to PayPal Zettle
Square POS can be used by businesses of all types including retail, food and beverage, and service professionals. Payment processing, sales reports and inventory management are included. Add-ons such as team management, loyalty programs and email marketing are also available. There’s no monthly fee, and the first card reader is free. You can purchase a POS register for $799, with an option to pay $39 a month for 24 months. Payment processing fees: Square charges 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction and 3.5% plus 15 cents per manually keyed transaction.
Shopify POS is a system that can unify your in-store and online transactions, market to customers and manage inventory. You can try Shopify for free for 14 days. There are three plans to select from, with the lowest priced at $29 a month. A chip-and-swipe reader is available for $29. On the Basic plan, Shopify charges 2.7% for each in-person transaction and 2.9% plus 30 cents for each online transaction. Slightly lower rates are available with the higher priced plans.