Payments start-up Stripe is betting that retailers will leap at the chance to sell to an international audience, if only a company like Stripe were there to make it easier.
The company, run by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, is launching a feature allowing sellers who use its platform to price their goods in more than 130 currencies. Stripe takes a fee for the conversion, but handles the paperwork and bank transfers that can make cross-currency a hassle.
A British tech entrepreneur has had his vision backed by a further $20.7m of US money, writes Andrew Bounds. Dan Wagner’s Powa group is developing a “revolutionary” ecommerce system that will allow customers to buy and order a product by photographing it with a smartphone.
PowaTag has attracted $96.5m in total, mainly from Boston-based fund Wellington Management, for around a quarter of the business.
If you’re wondering why Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square hasn’t launched in Europe, here’s one possible answer. The market is just too competitive.
Already several European companies do what Square does – allowing small businesses to process card payments without a monthly contract. They are now engaging in a price war, ripping up the 2.75 per cent transaction fee that Square made standard.
The frenzy to invest in mobile payments providers continues with Boku, the San Francisco-based start-up raising $35m, in a funding round led by Telefónica Digital. It will take the total raised by the mobile transactions company to more than $75m since 2008.
Investors in this round also included New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures.
Tech news from around the web:
Patricia Dunn, a former board chairman of Hewlett-Packard, has died at age 58 after a long battle with cancer, The Wall Street Journal reports. During her time on the board, the company was embroiled in controversy after it emerged that it had hired private investigators to identify the source of board-level leaks to the media.
Carphone Warehouse co-founder Charles Dunstone and Index Ventures have invested €8.2m ($11.2m) in iZettle, Europe’s answer to mobile-payment firm Square.
Sweden’s iZettle operates a payment system for small or nomadic merchants – be they market traders, window cleaners or conference-goers – through a card reader that attaches to the bottom of an iPhone.
Now there is another mobile wallet to add to consumer confusion. The UK’s three largest mobile operators, Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere, on Thursday said they had teamed up to create a single platform for making payments by mobile phone.
The headlong rush into mobile banking continued on Thursday with Visa announcing two deals in this area. The payments company has bought Fundamo, a South African mobile software company for $110m. It has also signed a 5-year deal with Monitise, a UK company that helps verify mobile banking transactions.
The deals come after last month Google, Mastercard and Citigroup announced plans to launch a “mobile wallet” that could be used at a number of stores in the US.
Reports that Apple could include near-field communication tags in its next iPhone, allowing people to transfer data – and probably iTunes payments – to and from their phones, have got tech watchers very excited indeed.