Let’s face it, PayPal has never been a company associated with good design. So with PayPal Here, the company’s new credit card reader (and first-ever physical product), it tapped renowned designer Yves Behar to spearhead the look of the project.

But Behar’s involvement didn’t just stop at the triangular-shaped card reader (which Behar apparently describes as “pyramid-shaped”). Taking a cue from Apple, he also helped design the packaging for the device, which is unsurprisingly simple and elegant.

PayPal’s director of communications Anuj Nayar gave us the first glimpse at the packaging for PayPal Here yesterday at the company’s New York City showcase. Yes, it’s a box — but it’s a very pretty and friendly-looking box that could help entice merchants. And most importantly, it’s representative of PayPal’s new large-scale focus on design.

The company just released a slick new iPhone app, and with its upcoming digital wallet, it looks like PayPal’s website is going to get a modern redesign soon. It’s important for PayPal to pay attention to design now, since it aims to do more than just pay for your eBay purchases. — it’s trying to make itself an integral part of how you pay for things in general, both online and offline. The company needs to make it clear that it’s not only smart to use PayPal, it’s also hip.

Nayar tells me that PayPal Here didn’t start out being triangular-shaped, which has been seen as an obvious dig to competitor Square. Behar and his firm Fuseproject spent 152 days designing the card reader. And as you can see in the video below, many different shapes were considered.

Early merchant partners started receiving their PayPal Here units last week, and Nayar says that it’s on track for general availability next month. He wouldn’t comment on how PayPal is going to get the card reader in consumers’ hands, but he did say the company will be announcing retail partners soon. It’s competitor Square is currently featured in Apple’s stores, so PayPal will have to go to some lengths to top that.

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