PayPal today confirmed its latest acquisition, buying mobile payment start-up Card.io.
The San Francisco company’s technology enables users to make payments by capturing the details from the front of their credit card with a smartphone camera. Through an app, it then sends these details to the retailer they are making the purchase from and confirms the transaction, without the user having to type in any numbers.
The mobile apps don’t store the credit card details and when they are streamed to the retailer, the connection is covered by 256-bit SSL encryption for extra security.
The app is already being used by tech-savvy US companies, such as cab firms or bars, to make payments, charging $0.15 for each scan – users can top up credit to use the app, rather than make an individual payment each time.
PayPal had already worked with Card.io to integrate the technology into its PayPal Here mobile app, but decided it wanted to own the firm rather than partner with it.
“While working with [card.io], we were simply blown away by the creativity and drive of their employees,” wrote Hill Ferguson, vice president of global product at PayPal, on the company’s blog.
“They are a passionate and independent team that likes solving large, complex problems and we wanted them to join our team. Great people make great products and great products are what make companies great.”
Details of the money exchanged to buy Card.io have not been released, but Ferguson confirmed the employees he thought so highly of would be transferred over to his team in San Jose to continue to “make it even easier for consumers and merchants to use the PayPal digital wallet.”
The original technology will remain available for developers so they can use it to build into their own applications, enabling PayPal to spread the word about its latest purchase without extra costs.