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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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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 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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Small Business Finance SaaS Provider Wave Launches Payroll App for iOS (Original)

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Toronto-based Wave, the online finance software startup that has built a growing business around a freemium model of cloud-based accounting, is launching its new iOS payroll application today. The tool is a companion to the company’s web-based payroll platform, adding a much-needed mobile element to the overall product suite and building on the recent launch of the receipt scanner applications the company debuted earlier this month.

The iOS payroll app is designed to help SMB owners to run their entire payroll process from their iPhones, without having to jump on the desktop to do things like view a payroll history, run a new cycle, pay stubs and receive notifications to remind them of tasks that need completion. Notifications can be set for employees, too, to alert you exactly them a payment has been received. The app is debuting on Android, but CEO Kirk Simpson told me that the company is working on an Android version, too, with the intention of releasing that later this year.

The mobile app has been one of the top requests from Wave’s 600,000 current subscribers, and adds to Wave’s continuing efforts to build out that part of its business. Its freemium model appears to be working well so far, with the basic accounting tools available to all via an ad-supported revenue model, and additional tools, including the payroll suite, available on volume-based pricing.…

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Well, That Was Fast: Twitter Already Shut Down Ribbon’s Newly Launched In-Stream Payments Feature (Original)

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This morning, payments startup Ribbon announced support for “in-stream” payments on Twitter.com, allowing users to click a button directly within a tweet in order to make a purchase without having to leave the Twitter.com website. However, it appears that Twitter has already shut this feature down – almost immediately after its public debut.

Ribbon Co-founder Hany Rashwan has confirmed that Twitter has indeed shut them down, and the company is now in the process of trying to contact Twitter to discuss. We’ve also reached out to Twitter with questions, and will update if and when we hear back.

It’s possible that the way Ribbon implemented the in-stream payments using Twitter Cards (via the Player Card model) was a violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service. What’s interesting is how quickly Twitter reacted to the situation, which makes one wonder who might have brought the violation, or issue, to Twitter’s attention.

For background, Ribbon, which is something of a “bit.ly for payments,” previously allowed Twitter users to click and link and be redirected to a separate page offering a simple, one-page checkout experience. But today, it introduced a new, more integrated option for payments, which took advantage of Twitter Card functionality to allow for payment processing directly on Twitter.com.…

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ZenPayroll Launches Simple, Cloud-Based Payroll Service For Accountants And Bookkeepers (Original)

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YC-backed ZenPayroll, the startup that offers an easy to use, cloud-based payroll application, is debuting a new product today—ZenPayroll for Accountants.

ZenPayroll, which has a list of all-star investors, is disrupting a space that incumbents like ADP and Paychex have dominated for some time. The startup offers a much simpler, cloud-based way to automate all payroll tax calculations and payments, as well as provide direct deposit to employees. And the application allows for filing of all payroll-related government documents paperlessly.

With the initial product, ZenPayroll was aiming at small businesses and companies who use ADP. With the launch of ZenPayroll for Accountants, the startup is hoping to attract independent accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs who manage a number of small businesses.

The new dashboard allows accountants and bookkeepers to manage the payroll needs of multiple companies from a single screen. The product is free, and setup takes less than one minute, says founder Josh Reeves. Accountant can view pending tasks for each company and take action such as running payroll for their client, adding new employees, reviewing tax payments and filings, etc. Payroll reports take minutes, and accountants can collaborate with their client company by adding additional admin and employee accounts.…

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Did you know: A majority of app revenue comes from in-app purchases (Original)

A new study shows that the bulk of app revenue doesn't come from the initial download, but from in-app purchases.…

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PayTango lets you pay for stuff using your fingerprints (Original)

Potentially eliminating the need to carry around any type of credit or debit card, PayTango uses biometrics to help customers checkout at the register quicker using just their fingerprints.…

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Expensify Now Offers Support For Bitcoin, An Alternative To PayPal For International Contractors (Original)

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Expensify has announced it is now supporting Bitcoin to give international contractors an alternative to PayPal and the high fees associated with the service.

Bitcoin is an online currency that has gained international acceptance and recently the support of Silicon Valley Bank through a partnership with CoinLab and its deal with Mt. Gox, the owner of the world’s dominant Bitcoin exchange. CoinLab will be Mt. Gox’s exclusive partner in the United States and Canada.

Expensify explains Bitcoin in additional detail on its website:

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. It uses peer-to-peer technology to operate without a central authority. It depends on the same cryptography that secures websites to ensure the validity of the currency and payments.

According to Expensify, “before sending or receiving Bitcoins, Expensify customers will need to establish a Bitcoin wallet. The wallet, either stored locally on the contractor’s computer or on a website, will have an address assigned to it that you will use to send or receive Bitcoins.”

CEO David Barrett said in an interview that customers can use exchanges to transfer Bitcoins. These exchanges, like Mt. Gox, serve as ways to convert Bitcoins into hard currencies.…

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