NEW YORK — EBay’s PayPal payment unit is acquiring mobile wallet operator Paydiant ahead of PayPal’s spinoff as the mobile payment sector heats up.
Paydiant provides a mobile wallet platform for retailers and companies including Subway, Harris Teeter, Capital One and others. They also provide the mobile wallet platform for MCX, a mobile pay consortium whose members include many of the world’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Target, Sears, CVS and many others.
Competition in the mobile wallet sector is heating up with the launch of Apple Pay, Samsung offering Samsung Pay beginning this summer and Google teaming up with Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile to have its Google Wallet payment service built into Android phones sold by those carriers.
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PayPal says the company says that the acquisition will let it offer its merchants another way for their customers to pay for goods. Merchants can use the mobile system both online and in stores in a variety of different payment types, such as store-branded credit cards and gift cards. Merchants can also use any payment technology in brick-and-mortar locations like QR codes or near-field communication to take payment.
“We’re giving very easy access for consumers to pay any way they want to pay and letting merchants get paid any way want to get paid,” said Bill Ready, CEO of PayPal’s Braintree unit, a specialist in mobile payments that PayPal bought in 2013.
EBay has been planning to spin off its PayPal payments business in the second half of the year.
Bryan Yeager, analyst at research firm eMarketer, said gives PayPal a stronger foothold for in-store retail mobile payments.
“It’s likely PayPal will use this acquisition to get its own payment options in front of more consumers using mobile payments in-store,” he said.
Financial terms of the Paydiant deal weren’t disclosed. The deal is expected to close in late March or April.