PayPal Zettle POS and Card Reader: Pros, Cons, Review 2022

PayPal Zettle is a complete POS system that can take payments and help you manage inventory and track sales.
Sep 13, 2022

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PayPal Zettle is a point-of-sale (POS) system that allows businesses to take payments, manage inventory, track sales and receive reports. It replaced PayPal Here in June 2021. PayPal Zettle transactions cost 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person transactions and 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual-entry transactions.

Zettle may be a good choice if you’re looking for an entry-level POS. It delivers the essentials at a relatively low cost with a small commitment. But consider other options if you want features like customer loyalty and email marketing programs. Although Zettle can expand through hardware, it doesn’t offer plan upgrades or those types of add-ons.

Note: Although PayPal Here is no longer available to new customers, existing customers can continue to use the product.

Pros

Cons

  • Solid core features.

  • No monthly fees.

  • No long-term commitment.

  • Low initial costs.

  • Easy to use.

  • No add-on features available.

  • Limited integrations.

  • Funds are transferred to your PayPal account and not your bank account.

Deciding factors

Software cost

No monthly fees for the POS app.

Hardware cost

  • 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

  • 2.29% plus 9 cents for in-person transactions.

  • 3.49% plus 9 cents for manual entry card transactions.

  • 3.49% plus 49 cents for invoicing transactions.

Contract length

No long-term contracts.

Live support

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

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

PayPal Zettle has the typical core features you would expect in a POS system.

Payment features

PayPal 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.

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.

Zettle card reader and hardware

  • Your first reader is $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.

Inventory management

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.

Integrations

Zettle POS integrates with QuickBooks Online and with Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. After setting up the connection, you can automatically import data into QuickBooks Online every night. You can also import products from e-commerce websites to your Zettle product library, and inventory changes sync between platforms.

Benefits of PayPal Zettle

Solid basic features

PayPal Zettle 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 relatively quick, easy and inexpensive. The software is free and the first card reader is $29. Because there isn’t a long-term commitment, you can try the system at minimal cost. The fees for payment processing are similar to the fees for Square POS.

Drawbacks of PayPal Zettle

No add-on features

Although Zettle provides the core features of a POS system, it limits users to a single plan. PayPal 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 by buying more hardware, but not by buying additional features.

Limited integrations

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

Pricing:  2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction; 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions; and 3.5% plus 15 cents per manually keyed transaction.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.

Overview: If you want more bang for your buck, Square may be a better option for you. Square’s payment processing rates are comparable to PayPal’s, plus you’ll get access to built-in inventory management. Add-ons such as team management, loyalty programs and email marketing are also available.

Pricing: 2.7% for each in-person transaction and 2.9% plus 30 cents for each online transaction if using the Basic plan. Slightly lower rates are available with the higher priced plans. There are three plans to select from, with the lowest priced at $29 a month. A chip-and-swipe reader is available for $49.

Overview: Shopify POS may be more expensive than PayPal — it charges a monthly fee for e-commerce plans, which are required to use Shopify Payments, in addition to the transaction fees. But if you’re looking for a more advanced POS that can unify your in-store and online transactions and let you market to customers and manage inventory, Shopify may be a fit. You can try Shopify for free for 14 days.

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