The ever-changing payments landscape is moving and changing so quickly, PayPal Inc. felt it needed greater agility and expertise, so on May 13 it announced the acquisition of mobile-app developer Duff Research.
The Duff Research team reportedly will remain together at PayPal and help make it easier for consumers and merchants to use PayPal’s digital wallet. Duff has built some 40 mobile apps for such companies as TiVo and Adidas.
“What we’re really after with this deal is the innovators and experience. … We are reinventing our organization to be more technology led,” James Barrese, PayPal chief technology officer.
Seems it wasn’t that long ago that PayPal was the company chipping away at traditional card network online-payments volume, but now it finds itself facing market newcomers with similar goals that now could affect the eBay Inc. payment unit’s bottom line.
Square Inc., led by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, is among the new companies PayPal finds itself faced with having to address. Interestingly, VeriFone Systems Inc.’s perceived threat from Square in the micromerchant space led VeriFone to venture outside its core business of meeting the needs of larger merchants, and that subsequently led to the end of CEO Doug Bergeron’s reign over the company earlier this week, about two weeks after it sold its Sail micromerchant-terminal business. It’s too soon to tell whether PayPal might be overreacting to Square’s presence, but adding expertise that will help to improve its mobile wallet won’t hurt, and it could provide additional benefits down the road.
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