PayPal plans Paydiant acquisition

PayPal plans to acquire Paydiant, the startup whose white-label platform powers Merchant Customer Exchange’s mobile payment offering CurrentC.

Re/code first reported that PayPal will pay around $280 million for the company, which provides a technology platform used by the likes of Subway to add payment and loyalty capabilities to their existing mobile app.

CurrentC’s mobile wallet app is also built on Paydiant’s platform, which allows customers to scan a QR-code from their smartphone to make a payment at the point-of-sale. PayPal did not comment on how the acquisition will affect Paydiant’s relationship with CurrentC backer MCX, a consortium of large US retailers including Walmart and Target.

PayPal has tried – and failed – to become a popular payment option in brick and mortar stores. This latest acquisition could be a sign that the payment company is siding with retailers, who may still prefer to offer their own mobile wallets despite the pressure to choose between those of Apple, Google and Samsung.

“I don’t think it’s an either/or,” Bill Ready, head of the merchant division of PayPal, told Re/code. “We feel pretty confident that merchants and major retailers are going to want to control their own destiny in terms of what they accept.”

The acquisition could also allow PayPal to become a payment method in more apps as it prepares to spin off from parent company eBay.

The acquisition will also be a boost for Paydiant, which will be able to “scale its mobile wallet technology and offer value-added benefits to its merchant customers that only a combined PayPal and Paydiant can provide,” PayPal president Dan Schulman wrote in a blog post Monday.

These benefits will include world-class risk management, 24 x 7 customer support, loyalty points and private label card acceptance, an open payments platform that supports all mobile operating systems, and global reach into more than 200 markets and 162 million active digital wallets, Schulman added.

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