mobile payments

Sarah Mishkin

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. Read more

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. Read more

Getty Images

There’s an interesting note on François-Henri Pinault’s official bio page on the Kering website.Aafter a the usual title/school/professional background stuff, the last line is: “He takes a personal and professional interest in sustainability and the development of e-business.”

It’s the last bit that struck me, given that on Tuesday M Pinault (left, with wife Salma Hayek), through his holding company Artemis became a meaningful investor in Square, the mobile payments company started by Twitter guy Jack Dorsey.

M Pinault was staying mum about the private share purchase, but it makes sense to me on many levels, besides the obvious one above. And I think it may hint at some tantalising possibilities for the future. (Tantalising to speculate on, anyway.)

 Read more

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. Read more

Maija Palmer

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. Read more

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. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

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. Read more

Maija Palmer

mobile walletNow 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. Read more

Maija Palmer

Visa logoThe 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. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

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 indeedRead more