PayPal acquires StackMob to build more mobile payment apps

PayPal announced Tuesday it has acquired StackMob, a development platform to build mobile apps, to continue its push into mobile payments and try to attract more developers to build apps for PayPal.

StackMob launched in 2010 in San Francisco, and offers a platform and development environment that lets developers build applications for any mobile device. Why would PayPal want it? PayPal, the San Jose-based Internet payments company belonging to eBay, is aggressively expanding its mobile payments services, and StackMob could help it build out more robust apps that support the features PayPal wants, such as geolocation. PayPal’s newest product, Beacon, uses bluetooth wireless technology that senses when a customer enters a store and immediately connects to the customer’s PayPal app, notifies store employees and allows purchases to happen wirelessly.

‘We believe that with the addition of the talented team from StackMob, we’ll move even faster in creating, testing and deploying products that aim to transform payments for customers around the world,” James Barrese, PayPal chief technology officer, said in a blog post.

PayPal has also been less than user-friendly for developers, company executives have admitted. The company’s open APIs were clunky, it ignored developer’s wants and for along time was slow to move into the mobile space. StackMob, which was built to serve the development community, likely will help attract more developers to build apps for PayPal and apps for third parties that support PayPal.

Forbes reports that StackMob’s 18 employees will move to San Jose. StackMob put out a statement saying they were happy about joining the PayPal team.

“We believe that our work at PayPal will make it easier for developers to create seamless payment solutions that span online, mobile, and in-store experiences,” said StackMob CEO Ty Amell.

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Heather Somerville Heather Somerville (150 Posts)

Heather Somerville reports on consumer affairs, retail and technology for the Bay Area News Group. She lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys rock climbing, yoga and biking across the Golden Gate Bridge.