Online finance giant PayPal unveiled a triangle-shaped gadget Thursday designed to make it easy for businesses to accept credit card payments and more on the go -- a swipe at technology darling Square.

Square, founded by Twitter co-creator Jack Dorsey, unveiled its mobile payment system in May of 2011. Last week the company claimed to be processing more than $4 billion in payments per year, and announced a trial system in NYC taxis.

PayPal wants in on that action.

Its new system, called PayPal Here, is a little blue triangle that plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone (Android phones shortly, the company says) and lets a merchant accept credit card payments, scan cards checks with the camera on a phone, and easily send invoices or receipts with just a flat, 2.7 percent fee. 

But it’s about more than just a primary colored shape of plastic, said Ed Eger, a senior vice president with PayPal.

“This announcement is not just about a simple card reader,” Eger told FoxNews.com. “It’s about the entirety of this offering. “

PayPal processed $125 billion in transactions last year, he noted, for 106 million customers including millions of small- to mid-sized businesses. And as consumers change their shopping habits -- browsing on their mobile phones or even paying with them, thanks to new digital wallet solutions -- PayPal needed to evolve how it could process transactions for them, he noted.

A shirt you buy at Banana Republic while waiting in line at Starbucks -- is that an online transaction or offline?

“Three years from now you won’t be able to tell me what’s what,” Eger told FoxNews.com.

 

Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.