PayPal has announced the acquisition of credit card image capture company Card.io, giving the eBay payments company another string to its bow in the field of mobile payments, and strengthening the presence of PayPal's digital wallet in an increasingly competitive industry.
Card.io provides a bespoke technology in which credit cards can be photographed and interpreted using only a smartphone camera.
The technology has so far been used to allow mobile payments to be processed straight through a mobile phone, eliminating the need for small businesses or traders to use dongles or other specialist hardware.
On PayPal's corporate blog, vice president of global product Hill Ferguson explained how the company first met the Card.io team when integrating its technology into the PayPal Here mobile app, saying PayPal was "simply blown away" by the "creativity and drive" of those who worked there.
"They are a passionate and independent team that likes solving large, complex problems and we wanted them to join our team," added Ferguson. "Great people make great products and great products are what make companies great."
Comparing the acquisition to July 2011's $240m (£154m) purchase of mobile payments company Zong, Ferguson stated that a similar reason was at the heart of this buyout, which is to allow Card.io to "get the opportunity to work on projects that will accelerate innovation at a scale that's just not possible at a startup".
"We can't wait to get them involved in helping us change the future of shopping and payments," Ferguson concluded.
Card.io has stated on its website that its SDKs for iOS and Android will remain available for developers to use in their own applications.
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