Burnished by Starbucks, upstart Square battles payment giants

Two years ago, employees from the start-up Square Inc descended on farmers markets in San Francisco to hand out a new type of credit-card reader that let small, independent merchants accept plastic via their smartphones or tablets.

But this month, when Starbucks Inc (Seattle, USA) and Square (San Francisco, USA) announced that 7,000 coffee shops across the country would begin accepting payment through Square's smartphone app, the small white cubes that were Square's original calling card didn't merit a mention.

iZettle launches mobile-payments service with EE

Swedish mobile-payments company iZettle has launched services in the UK through an exclusive deal with EE, the country’s biggest network operator.

Under the arrangement, iZettle’s mini chip-card readers will be available from any of EE’s (London, UK) 297 stores or via the operator’s telesales channel.

The readers can be connected to smartphones and tablets, turning the devices into mobile-payment terminals that will accept transactions via Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club.

Telefonica Digital launches cloud service for M2M

Telefónica Digital has launched a cloud-computing service designed partly to support M2M applications for developers, digital businesses and large enterprises.

Branded Instant Servers, the service is supported by the operator’s data centres in the UK and Spain and promises a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.996% with financial compensation in the event of non-compliance.

Instant Servers also allows customers to serve more workloads per virtual machine than public cloud services and thereby reduce their operating costs.

Paypal enters the holiday price-matching fray

Reuters

PayPal launched a price-matching offer on Thursday, following similar moves by retailers including Target Corp, as the payments giant tries to encourage more shoppers to use its service this holiday season.

If consumers purchase products with PayPal and the items are advertised for lower prices by any merchant within 30 days, PayPal said it will reimburse users the difference.

The price-matching offer includes PayPal purchases made online and in physical stores and runs through December 31, the company, owned by eBay Inc (San Jose, USA), added.

Numerex earnings rise 32% on demand for subscription-based services

M2M vendor Numerex has reported impressive gains in third-quarter earnings and revenues due to rising demand for its subscription-based security, asset tracking and monitoring services.

The company claimed a 32% year-on-year increase in net profit, before the inclusion of income-tax benefits, to $987,000, while overall revenues grew 17% to about $17.7 million.

Vodafone and Gemalto to collaborate on global NFC rollout

Vodafone has signed a multi-year global contract with Gemalto, under which the Dutch M2M company will help the telecoms operator to launch so-called ‘wave and pay’ contactless transactions via mobile phones.

Best known for its digital security products, Gemalto (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) will provide Vodafone (Newbury, UK) with its Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform, which manages mobile-payment security encryption between financial institutions and mobile operators, as well as its UpTeq NFC card product.

Paypal cutting jobs as part of major reorganization

Reuters

PayPal is cutting about 325 jobs as part of a major reorganization by its new president, David Marcus, designed to regain an innovative edge and head off rising competition.

PayPal, the online payment pioneer owned by eBay Inc (San Jose, USA), said on Monday the full-time jobs would be eliminated as it combines nine product-development groups into one. The company is also cutting about 120 contractors.

EBay will take a $15 million pretax restructuring charge in the fourth quarter related to the job reductions.

Isis finally launches mobile payment service in two cities

Reuters

Isis, a venture of three of the top U.S. mobile providers, said on Monday it has kicked off its much-delayed mobile payments service in two U.S. cities and promised that as many as 20 phone models would support the service by year end.

Isis, formed by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA), is a mobile wallet service that allows consumers to make payments by waving their phone at a check-out terminal, instead of using a plastic card.

Groupon eyes restaurants with nationwide POS offering

Reuters

Groupon Inc launched a point-of-sale service called Breadcrumb across the United States on Wednesday as the world's largest daily deal company tries to win more restaurants as clients.

Breadcrumb is a sales, order management and reporting system for restaurants, bars and cafes that runs on Apple Inc's iPad. It was designed a start-up founded by Seth Harris. Groupon (Chicago, USA) acquired the business in May.

Paypal plans first job cuts since 2008 financial crisis

Reuters

PayPal is planning to cut as much as 3 percent of its workforce as the payments division of eBay Inc looks to streamline its operations under new President David Marcus, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The reductions are expected to total between 300 and 400 and be focused in product development, technology and marketing, the person said on condition of anonymity because the plans are not public. PayPal (San Jose, USA) has almost 13,000 employees.

The job cuts will be PayPal's first major reductions since the financial crisis in 2008.