PayPal is rumoured to be preparing to take on Square and a host of copycat competitors with the launch of a service that would allow mobile phones to accept card payments.
According to GigaOM, which quotes sources familiar with PayPal's plans, the company is set to release a triangle-shaped dongle for small business owners to process credit card swipes from a smartphone, similar to Square, Intuit's GoPayment and Verifone's PAYware.
The dongle may be unveiled later this week at a launch event for small business owners, says GigaOM.
For PayPal, the move into Square's territory, would fit with the company's ambitions to move offline and into high street merchant territory. Paypal has been actively wooing merchants with a new service that allows customers to pay for their purchases by entering a mobile phone number and PIN code at the check-out. US retailer Home Depot announced last week that it would install the system nationwide following a six-week trial at five pilot stores.
The entry of a world-renowned brand like PayPal into the market could put the skids under Square's explosive growth. The startup now claims to be processing $4 billion in payments volume each year.