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Google Wallet Launches Promotion With Popular Android Apps In A Bid To Increase Its Brand Recognition (Original)

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Several Android apps are offering discounts for customers using Google Wallet’s “Buy with Google” button as the company tries to ramp up adoption of its payment processing service. The button, which allows 2-click checkouts on mobile apps, is one of the strategies Google is deploying in its multi-pronged attack on PayPal’s dominance.

While the “Buy with Google” button for Android allows Google Wallet to leverage the world’s most popular mobile operating system, relatively few merchants are using it. These include airbnb, Expedia, Fancy, newegg.com (mobile site also), priceline.com, Ruelala, Tabbedout and Uber, all of which are currently offering promotions to customers who checkout using Google Wallet. Other apps with the button include Booking.com, GoPago, NFC Task Launcher and Wrapp.

The company unveiled the Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API in May, which gives merchants and developers selling physical goods and services (as opposed to in-app purchases of virtual items like those sold in games) the ability to offer customers a 2-click checkout with payment credentials stored on Google Wallet.

Google announced in May that it will shut down Google Checkout on November 20. The move is part of the company’s efforts to focus on turning Google Wallet into a PayPal rival and followed several moves by Google to retool its checkout process for the Web, mobile Web, Android apps and more.…

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NFC payments now possible with microSD cards (Original)

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The venerable microSD card slot might not be as common in smartphones as it once was, but it is still exceedingly more common than Near Field Communications (NFC) capability. The SD Association is……

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Google Folds Wallet Support Into Gmail So You Can Send Money As Attachments (Original)

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Phew. Google just spent three hours or so showing off new developer tools, APIs, service overhauls, and the occasional gadget, but not everything the search giant rolled out today got a turn under the spotlights at the Moscone Center. Case in point: according to a post on the official Google Commerce blog, Google Wallet support has been baked into Gmail, so users will soon be able to send each other money by simply shooting each other emails.

In the coming weeks and months, a dollar sign will start popping in Gmail accounts of people who already use Google Wallet, and a quick click lets users define the recipient and the amount they’d like to send along as an attachment. Since all of these transactions run through Google Wallet, the usual caveats are in place — sending funds from a connected bank account is totally gratis, but those who prefer to pay with credit or debit cards are subject to an additional 2.9 percent fee tacked on. You also need to be over 18 to take part in the funding fun, though.

Google is far from the first company to tackle the concept of sending money via email — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo rolled out a method of transferring funds to people if you had their cell phone number or email address two years ago, but the setup process involved could be more than a little tedious if the recipient wasn’t a member of the same bank.…

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Google Wallet kills plan to release physical credit card (Original)

Sources close to the Google Wallet project revealed that the company's plans to release a physical credit card have been shelved. CEO Larry Page's skepticism, plus a glitchy test run, are said to be the main reasons behind the decision.…

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Square believes it can trump Foursquare in the local recommendations game (Original)

Square believes it can trump Foursquare in the local recommendations game

Square collects a lot of store info by virtue of its payment business, so you'd think it would be great at recommending where to shop. And you may soon be right, according to the company's Ajit Varma. While he doesn't have a schedule, he tells The Verge that Square will eventually customize its directory to suggest hot or newly opened stores based on our spending habits. Varma even believes that his company could beat Foursquare in the local recommendations field, and it's easy to see why when Square knows that we're willing to buy, not just that we've entered a given store. Of course, this is all contingent on both a ubiquitous Square presence and consumerist intentions. Foursquare is entirely willing to point us to both free landmarks as well as stores without Square readers, so it's doubtful that the two services will ever completely overlap.

Filed under: Cellphones, Internet

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Source: The Verge

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Square Hires An Exec From PayPal To Form Payments Partnerships With Retailers (Original)

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After bringing on a new global business lead from Google, Square is making another key executive hire today. The payments company is announcing that Alex Petrov, a former PayPal exec, will be Square’s Vice President of Partnerships.

Petrov was most recently the vice president of retail marketing at PayPal, where he was responsible for merchant marketing and helping launch PayPal into offline retail. He was previously the vice president of consumer brands at Safeway, where he led the marketing and growth of Safeway’s private brands portfolio, including launching over 1,000 new products. Petrov was also a marketing executive at Nestlé.

“Square’s passion for innovation and its relentless focus on the customer experience completely change how retailers can do business,” said Petrov in a release. “I look forward to bringing Square to merchants of all sizes, from local businesses to the largest retailers in the world.”

Square, who just updated its iPad register app to be more restaurant-friendly, says that its adoption among merchants is growing at a faster rate on iPads, where customers are using Square as a full point-of-sale system. iPad customers now represent nearly 50 percent of total payments processed by Square. The average payment volume processed by these customers is also more than double the average volume processed by Square customers using smartphones.…

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PayPal and Discover expand partnership, will reach 2 million stores by year-end (Original)

PayPal and Discover expand partnership, will reach 2 million stores by year end

When PayPal saw Square for the first time, we're fairly sure its CEO glumly stared out of the window, said "we're going to the mattresses" and promptly called the CEO of Discover to talk about an alliance. That unholy union has now brought PayPal into 250,000 retail outlets in the US, and the pair is now promising that the figure will be closer to two million by the end of 2013. Merchant acquirers such as Vantiv, WorldPay and TSYS have also signed up, presumably begging the pair not to let Jack Dorsey take the shirt from their backs.

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BuyReply Raises $1 Million From Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures & Others For An SMS, Email & Twitter-Based E-Commerce Solution (Original)

BuyReply

BuyReply, a company that has developed a new platform for e-commerce that allows consumers to purchase items from offline medium, such as TV, print, newspapers and more using email, SMS, or Twitter, has raised $1 million in seed funding, from Peter Thiel’s international fund Valar Ventures, along with Square Peg Ventures (Paul Bassat, founder of SEEK), Adrian MacKenzie, and others.

Based in Australia, the buying process BuyReply introduces allows consumers to bypass visting an e-commerce website to make their purchases. Nor do shoppers have to download and install a mobile application to their phones or tablets to shop, either.

Instead, here’s how the system would work:

For example, a TV ad could broadcast a message informing viewers to “text headphones to 0400 100 100″ in order to buy a new pair of headphones being advertised.

A similar message could appear in printed medium, like newspapers, catalogs or magazines, radio, store fronts, or anywhere else where a merchant may have a chance at inciting a purchase. Users respond to the ad however the advertiser wants to promote it – SMS, email, Twitter, QR code, etc.

BuyReply, meanwhile, sits in the middle of the interaction. The customer only needs to provide their information the first time, then for all other purchases on the platform, their details are recorded.…

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eBay’s PayPal Acquires IronPearl To Fuel Growth Beyond 123M Users (Original)

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About a month ago, I wrote about a stealthy company called IronPearl, led by Stan Chudnovsky and James Currier. They were growth hackers before the word “growth hacker” even existed. In fact, they don’t even really like the word “growth hacker.”

For years, Chudnovsky had been advising companies like Goodreads, Path, Wanelo, Poshmark, Lyft and Highlight on how to acquire users. His stealth startup, IronPearl was systematizing that advice. He and his partner have been building a set of optimization tools that will track a user through a site or app and test which combinations work best to keep them coming back after a week or a month — although the goal can be whatever you want it to be.

PayPal, along with GoodReads (which was recently bought by Amazon), were early testers.

Apparently, IronPearl’s product and the pair’s expertise was so valuable that eBay’s PayPal unit decided to just outright buy the company before launch. We hear the price in the “double-digit millions,” although neither company is talking about the price.

With the deal, Chudnovsky becomes Paypal’s vice president of growth while Currier will be a growth advisor. (Currier won’t be coming on full-time.)

“Creating a growth group is foundational for us,” said PayPal president David Marcus.…

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LG adds PayPal to smart TVs (Original)

LG has integrated online payment service PayPal into its smart TV platform, allowing users to buy products and services directly through their TV set. 

The electronics manufacturer has launched the service on its devices in the US, Canada and the UK. It also plans to roll it out in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Australia, starting from this month.

“LG and PayPal will create a more user-friendly Smart TV experience, enabling the user to make faster, more secure digital payments,” said Richard Choi, senior VP of the LG Electronics’ Smart Business Center.

“PayPal significantly reduces the number of steps the user has to take in order to complete a transaction; saving them time by eliminating the need to enter credit card and address details for each subsequent purchase. Moving forward, it will also make it possible for LG to better integrate digital commerce with first-class home entertainment.”

Users can enter their PayPal details into their TV using the remote, and can choose a “remember me” option for easier payments.

“We see smart TV as a high-potential platform for commerce in the coming years, and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront with LG in integrating the ease, security and functionality of PayPal directly into LG Smart TVs,” said Randall Davies , senior director of global business development at PayPal.…

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