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PayPal Acquiring iZettle to Compete With Square for In-Store Payments Processing

PayPal this week announced plans to acquire the Swedish-based payments hardware company iZettle for $2.2 billion, with a plan to expand its presence in brick and mortar stores thanks to iZettle's technology. The acquisition will also help PayPal bolster its business across iZettle's main markets of Europe and Latin America (via Bloomberg). Notably, the purchasing deal marks PayPal's biggest acquisition ever and will put it in the hardware market as a direct competitor to small business-focused company Square. Both Square and iZettle sell payments processing hardware devices that help small businesses conduct both traditional credit card transactions and NFC payments from mobile wallets like Apple Pay. The deal is now expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, while PayPal says it hopes to "reap the advantages of the merger almost immediately in certain areas." “Small businesses increasingly want a full suite of capabilities across channels, a one-stop stop,” Dan Schulman, chief executive officer of PayPal, said in an interview. “IZettle was the perfect fit in many ways.” “When we think about the combinations and capabilities of PayPal and iZettle,” Schulman added, they “set us apart from anyone else.” When it does close, PayPal will gain in-store capabilities in 11 total markets that iZettle currently resides in: Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. In the announcement, PayPal also mentioned that the acquisition allows for in-store expansion opportunities in other existing PayPal markets where

Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover Plan Combo Checkout Button to Compete With PayPal

Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover are planning to combine their online payment options into "a single button," hoping to make customers' shopping easier and reduce friction in the checkout process. The button will be a major competitor to PayPal, and combat what's called "the NASCAR effect," where multiple payment logos and options dot the purchasing interface on online marketplaces "like the side of a race car" (via Bloomberg). The new project is being headed by Visa and Mastercard, which announced during an industry conference that they will integrate the Visa Checkout and Masterpass payment options into the button. Afterwards, spokespeople for American Express and Discover announced they are joining the project as well. With all of these platforms located behind one button, users who already have payment options saved in each will be able to checkout "with a few clicks." Still, the project is in early stages, with a name and the visual design of the button still undecided. Visa and Mastercard hope to start moving customers enrolled in Visa Checkout and Masterpass to the new program by the end of this year, and expanded checkout support is expected in 2019. With all of the major credit and debit card companies joining forces, the new button is believed to be a direct competitor to PayPal, which amalgamates a customer's credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts into one place for easier checkouts. The aim, according to the card networks, is to make online shopping simple, letting people finish with a few clicks -- an experience pioneered by

eBay Details Plans to Replace PayPal as Main Payments Processor With New Partner Adyen

eBay this week announced major changes coming for both buyers and sellers on its online marketplace, with a plan to phase out its 15-year-long partnership with PayPal and eventually integrate Amsterdam-based payments company Adyen as its "primary partner for payments processing globally" (via Recode). This will eventually affect all eBay customers on every version of the site, including desktop and its iOS and Android apps. The process will happen over a long period of time, beginning with payments intermediation on its marketplace -- essentially helping sellers and buyers transition to Adyen -- in the second half of 2018. This will be a "small scale" initial expansion, and grow further throughout 2019. eBay currently has an operating agreement to keep PayPal as its primary payments processor through mid-2020, so the plan is to have "transitioned a majority" of its marketplace customers to Adyen by 2021. After that time, PayPal will be relegated to a secondary checkout option for customers until July 2023. Following that transition it's unclear whether eBay and PayPal's partnership will end completely, or if the payments company will simply continue as a secondary option in checkout. For Adyen, eBay noted that there will be "additional payments-related data" required to transition to the new platform, with these steps "required" to continue selling on eBay. Still, the company ensured that most of the ways that buyers and sellers pay for and receive money on the site will "be very similar" to how it worked with PayPal. The way that sellers engage with eBay in

PayPal Offering $100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 on eBay While Supplies Last

If you're looking to start stocking up on iTunes gift cards for the holidays, PayPal's Digital Gifts storefront on eBay today has the $100 iTunes gift card at $85 for customers in the United States. You'll need to be logged into a PayPal account, and once you complete the purchase the digital gift card will be emailed to you with a code to add the credit to your iTunes account. Discounts on iTunes gift cards are getting more frequent as holiday shopping nears, with most deals marking $50 and $100 cards off by 15 percent. As Black Friday gets closer, you can expect larger discounts -- of around 20 percent off -- to begin popping up at various retailers. We'll be sure to notify you when these holiday deals begin happening; you can also keep an eye on our Black Friday Roundup and Deals Roundup for even more of the latest Thanksgiving and Christmas sales. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with eBay

You Can Now Pay Friends Through Facebook Messenger Using PayPal

Last year, PayPal launched within Facebook Messenger as a way for users to shop and complete payments directly through the messaging app. Today, the two companies are expanding the focus of this feature and opening up peer-to-peer payments for Facebook Messenger users who have linked their PayPal account to the app. With a rollout starting today, Facebook Messenger users will be able to tap on the blue plus icon within the app, then select the green Payments button, and choose PayPal to send money. This functionality will work in one-on-one conversations, as well as in group texts. PayPal said this will make it easy to split a bill, pay rent, and more. Although PayPal's press release doesn't specify, the company's image depicting the new feature confirms that a user's PayPal balance and linked banking accounts can be chosen for P2P payments in Facebook Messenger. We’re excited today to announce an expansion of our relationship with Facebook with the addition of PayPal as a funding source for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, right in Messenger. People will have the option to send and request money using their PayPal account, and this integration in Messenger is starting to roll out to U.S. consumers today. As the leader in P2P payments with $24 billion in P2P volume during Q3 2017 alone (up 47% year-over-year), the ability to send and request money in Messenger – one of the most widely used apps in the world – gives people more choice and more convenient ways to get things done in different contexts. Whether it’s splitting a bill for a cab ride or a night

PayPal Announces Over 2M U.S. Retailers Will Begin Accepting Venmo Payments Online

PayPal today announced that "more than two million" retailers in the United States will now accept online payments from the PayPal-owned, peer-to-peer payments platform Venmo. Users with Venmo accounts will be able to pay on retailer apps like Forever 21, Foot Locker, and Lululemon starting this week (via Reuters). With the addition of Venmo into the checkout process of these apps, Venmo customers can use their app balance, linked cards, or bank account to shop on the mobile sites of "almost all merchants that accept payments with PayPal." The peer-to-peer payments app will appear as a checkout option similar to PayPal and other mobile wallets. “At Venmo from the very early days our vision was to always let you use it for whatever you want to buy,” Ben Mills, head of product, at Venmo, said in an interview. Venmo will charge merchants fees for processing payments through its platform, with Venmo head of product Ben Mills stating that the service's ease of use "could help increase" the company's sales. Another update coming down the line -- first announced over the summer -- will let users transfer their app's balance to their bank account instantly, for a transfer fee of $0.25. Currently, Venmo transfers to bank accounts are free, but take up to a day to complete. PayPal is said to be looking to bolster Venmo's stance in the peer-to-peer payments market following the launch of Zelle earlier in 2017, and the impending debut of Apple Pay Cash. However, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman has said he doesn't think Apple Pay Cash will hurt Venmo, mainly citing Venmo's

You Can Now Send Money With PayPal in Skype App on iPhone and iPad

Skype today announced that users across 22 countries can now send money with PayPal in its mobile app for iOS and Android. Skype said the person-to-person payments feature is rolling out today in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Where available, users will need to link their PayPal account to their Skype profile. In a chat, users can then swipe right, tap Send Money, and complete the near-instant money transfer process, which is handled by PayPal. Both the sender and recipient must reside in one of the 22 countries supported. PayPal within Skype will support currency exchange as usual. If a user is sending funds from the United States, for example, to someone in Europe, the user will have the option to send money in euros if preferred. The feature will require the latest version of Skype for iOS, available as a free download on the App Store [Direct Link]. However, users receiving money can have any version of the Skype app

Apple Adds PayPal as Payment Option for iTunes, App Store, and Apple Music

From today, PayPal customers in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands can use their PayPal account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, iTunes, and iBooks purchases made on their Apple devices. PayPal said on Wednesday the option would be rolling out to other countries including the U.S. soon after. Previously, Apple users were only able to pay for transactions using a registered bank card or gift card. The new option means it's now possible to make purchases across iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch and Mac using a PayPal account. To select PayPal in the payment method options on iOS, go to Settings -> iTunes & App Stores and tap on your Apple ID, then select payment information. The same options can be found in iTunes on Mac or PC via the Account Quick Link. Once users have updated their account settings for the above services, all future purchases made with the customer's Apple ID will be automatically charged to their PayPal account. This includes purchases of apps, music, movies, TV shows, and books, as well as Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage. The new payment option brings PayPal's One Touch service to Apple accounts for the first time, meaning users can purchase from all Apple devices including Apple TV and Apple Watch, since they don't have to sign in every time they want to make a transaction. PayPal said the system provides a "secure and versatile payment method to meet the growing demand for digital entertainment." (Thanks, Rick!)

PayPal CEO Doesn't Think Apple Pay's Peer-to-Peer Payments Update Will Hurt Venmo

In a new interview with The Telegraph, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman discusses a wide range of topics covering the origins of the company, its history with eBay, and potential competition with Apple in the peer-to-peer payments space. PayPal owns Venmo, one of the most popular P2P payments apps available today across iOS, Android, and the web, and Schulman cited this availability across various operating systems as a "powerful advantage." Schulman said that many users have a variety of devices sold by different companies, and the ability for Venmo to be on all of them is where it will stand out from Apple Pay's upcoming P2P update, which will be able to send money through Messages only on Apple devices. Image via The Telegraph “We’re technology agnostic,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “Many individuals are [a] multi-operating system; they can have an Android phone, a Microsoft PC and an Apple tablet. You don’t want a different payment methodology on each of those things … you want a consistency across that. “We try to offer a consistent value proposition, that’s end-to-end, across operating systems and device type. It’s a powerful advantage we have.” PayPal and Venmo also control several parts of a payment process made through its apps, including risk assessment and customer protection. Shulman stated that the company owns "the full value proposition" of a payment made between users on Venmo, while Apple "can only provide what they hope is a good user interface." Unlike Venmo, Apple’s service will not work on Android phones or Windows laptops, and

PayPal iOS App Update Brings Siri Integration to Send and Receive Money

PayPal has updated its iOS app to include Siri integration with support for a variety of languages across 30 countries. In a post on its official blog, PayPal announced that users of the digital payment service will be able to use Apple's voice-activated AI personal assistant to send and request money among friends and family. With so many P2P transactions happening during such a busy season, we're excited to give our users an early holiday present: starting November 10, Siri will be integrated with PayPal. For iPhone and iPad users running iOS 10, making a payment has never been easier – PayPal users can now send and request money via a voice command with Siri. Simply say, "Hey Siri, send Bill $50 using PayPal." Voila! One less thing to check off the to-do list this holiday season. The company says it expects the number of peer-to-peer transactions to increase over the holiday period, and predicts more than 17 million transactions in December alone. Support for Siri-PayPal integration currently covers the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium (French and Dutch), Brazil, Canada (English and French), China, Denmark, Finland (Finnish), France, Germany, Hong Kong (Cantonese), India, Israel (Hebrew), Italy, Japan, Malaysia (Malay), Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia (Arabic), Singapore (English), Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (French, German, and Italian), Thailand, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (Arabic), and the United States. With the launch of iOS 10, Apple opened up Siri to third-party developers for the first time by

PayPal to Discontinue Apps for Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Kindle

PayPal recently announced that it plans to pull support for its apps on the Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Amazon Kindle Fire mobile platforms, as the company doubles down on its new and updated apps for iOS and Android (via CNET). Users on the three operating systems in question have until June 30 to access the PayPal app. In the blog post announcing the impending sunset of PayPal's app on Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Kindle, the company mentions that on each platform users will still be able to access the money transferring service, through various internet browsers on PayPal's mobile web experience. PayPal said it hopes this move will help it put all its focus on "creating the very best experiences for our customers." It was a difficult decision to no longer support the PayPal app on these mobile platforms, but we believe it’s the right thing to ensure we are investing our resources in creating the very best experiences for our customers. We remain committed to partnering with mobile device providers, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers. In addition to internet browsers, those with BlackBerry devices can still send peer-to-peer PayPal payments through the BlackBerry Messenger app, and Outlook users can enable the PayPal add-in feature to deliver payments within the email client. PayPal's announcement comes a few days after Microsoft confirmed the company is scaling back its mobile phone business. Both Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices have been in a last place competition behind Android and iOS for the past few years,

Apple Drops Support for PayPal Credit Payment Plans in U.S. Online Store

Apple yesterday quietly removed all mentions of PayPal Credit from its U.S. Online Store, signaling its decision to stop allowing customers to use PayPal Credit payment plans for purchases in the United States. On the financing section of its website, where customers can get information about their payment options, Apple is now only offering financing through Barclaycard Visa, which allows users to make payments over 6 to 18 months depending on purchase price. Previous PayPal Credit options, which are no longer available. The previous PayPal Credit option allowed customers to choose 6, 12, 18, or 24 month payment plans with a fixed APR of 12.99%, while the Barclaycard Visa maxes out at 18 months with an APR of 13.99%, 19.99% or 26.99% depending on credit. Apple is continuing to offer rewards to customers who buy with the Barclaycard Visa, with customers earning 3 points for every $1 spent at the Apple Store, 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, and 1 point on all other purchases. 2,500 points can be redeemed for Apple Store or iTunes gift cards. Apple first began promoting PayPay Credit payment methods in December of 2014, which is when the company also began allowing customers to buy items using PayPal as a payment method. While Apple is no longer allowing customers to use PayPal Credit options to make purchases, it does still accept PayPal payments for purchases made from its online store and from its iOS app. PayPal Credit is still available in the U.K., and it is not clear if Apple plans to drop support in other countries as well.

Apple, Google and Others Form Coalition to Push Technology in Financial Sector

A handful of technology giants -- including Apple, Amazon, Google, PayPal, and Intuit -- have announced a partnership in the formation of the Financial Innovation Now coalition (via Re/code). The group aims to promote tech-friendly policies and changes within the financial services sector in Washington, D.C. Those behind the group will work to alter the political debate on relevant issues like tech security, mobile payments, and fraud prevention in the favor of its partners. “A technological transformation is going to make financial services more accessible, more affordable and more secure,” said Brian Peters, executive director of Financial Innovation Now. “The challenge in Washington is making sure policy-makers understand that, and they’re comfortable with it, and they don’t apply old rules to new technology.” Thanks to the growing popularity of mobile payments solutions like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and PayPal, the companies behind such services are positioning themselves as part of the future in financial services discussions in Washington, since they're more part of the conversation than ever before. The partnership also intends to work together to achieve blanket improvements for each individual service in topics like user security and authentication, faster payment processing, and "access to basic financial services for the two billion people in the world who are underserved." Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site