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PayPal buys Card.io, maker of mobile credit card scanning tech

Acquisition of San Francisco-based startup is an apparent move to bolster its mobile-payment position against upstart Square.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Card.io's credit card-scanning technology. Card.io

PayPal announced today it has agreed to acquire Card.io, a company whose technology allows credit card information to be captured by a smartphone's camera.

Terms of the deal were not announced.

The acquisition is an apparent move to bolster its position against mobile-payments upstart Square, which revealed in March that it was processing $4 billion a year in payments. Square, which recently announced plans for international expansion, also offers an accessory that connects to mobile devices and lets people swipe their cards to pay for purchases.

The San Francisco-based startup attracted PayPal's interest when the two companies were working to integrate Card.io's credit card capture technology into the PayPal app, Hill Ferguson, PayPal's VP of global product, said in a company blog post announcing the acquisition.

"While working with them, we were simply blown away by the creativity and drive of their employees," he said. "They are a passionate and independent team that likes solving large, complex problems and we wanted them to join our team."

Ferguson said Card.io's team will join PayPal's digital wallet team but that the current Card.io technology will still be available for developers use in apps.