PayPal rumored to offer Square-like service

PayPal has made a lot of advancements in a very short period of time. In just the last several months, the company has launched Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless payment exchange between phones, it enabled users to deposit checks via a mobile app, and it rolled out the ability to pay at the retail point-of-sale at virually all Home Depot locations. Now, it's going to the next step.

That is, it is going to start accepting credit card payments from anyone, allowing someone to get money from a client or customer on the spot, through a system that's similar to Square. Square currently has a monopoly on the market of accepting credit card payments through smartphones, via a dongle that users can get for free. But now PayPal wants to get into that space, according to media reports.

PayPal has been sitting around as the primary leader in alternative payments for years, but in 2012 it is poised to face a lot of competition. The advancement of NFC technology will allow other third-party payment providers to really make a splash. As a result, PayPal is doing exactly what it needs to do – stay ahead of the curve. And it truly is doing just that. The idea of using your PayPal account to not only pay for but also accept payments outside of digital transactions would have seemed foreign just a couple years ago, but now it's becoming exceedingly commonplace.

[via GigaOM]