Amazon Reportedly Buying Mobile Payment Startup GoPago (Dec. 17, 2013)
Amazon may have purchased San Francisco-based GoPago Inc., a mobile payment startup whose technology enables merchants to process card payments so consumers can order and pay ahead with a smartphone, skipping lines at the checkout, according reports from several media outlets. GoPago, launched in 2009, has generated buzz over the last two years, winning a $25 million investment from JPMorgan Chase & Co. Steve Elefant, formerly chief information officer for Heartland Payment Systems, joined GoPago in May as chief strategy officer.
GoPago’s founder and chief technology officer Vincenzo DiNicola recently disclosed to Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera that GoPago will be at the center of a new, “ambitious” Amazon project. Details are scanty and terms of the deal were not disclosed, but observers note Amazon’s acquisition of GoPago, with its local-merchant client base, could put it more directly into competition with fast-evolving merchant options Square provides.
Amazon in October also moved to compete more directly with PayPal, unveiling Login and Pay with Amazon, a feature designed to connect online merchants more directly to its 215 million active account holders. Adding GoPago opens up several possibilities for Amazon, James Wester, global payments research director for IDC Financial Insights, tells Paybefore. “A mobile POS solution would be a nice addition to Amazon’s small-business services and would fit with their recent push into payments,” he says, noting that Amazon may even be looking for a way to integrate its Kindle tablets with a mobile POS solution. “There’s a lot that can come out of this potential acquisition,” Wester observes.