PayPal announced today it has agreed to acquire Card.io, a company whose technology allows credit card information to be captured by a smartphone’s camera. The technology behind Card.io makes it easy for mobile apps to scan credit cards which is a handy feature that can save users the time it takes to enter a 16-digit card number.
The acquisition is an apparent move to bolster its position against mobile-payments upstart Square, which revealed in March that it was processing $4 billion a year in payments. Square, which recently announced plans for international expansion, also offers an accessory (which actually looks like a small WiFi dongle) that connects to mobile devices and lets people swipe their cards to pay for purchases.
The San Francisco-based startup attracted PayPal’s interest when the two companies were working to integrate Card.io’s credit card capture technology into the PayPal app, Hill Ferguson, PayPal’s VP of global product, said in a company blog post announcing the acquisition:
“While working with them, we were simply blown away by the creativity and drive of their employees,” he said. “They are a passionate and independent team that likes solving large, complex problems and we wanted them to join our team.”
Overall its safe to say that PayPal will soon add the ability to scan credit cards for easy mobile transactions. This is an absolute lifesaver for people who never seem to carry any cash with them.