Amazon acquires mobile payment startup

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In a bid to expand its footprint in the mobile world, e-commerce giant Amazon has quietly acquired payment startup Gopago, according to Italian newspapers.

Founded in 2009, Gopago is a startup that provides consumers with an Android or iOS mobile app that allows them to pre-pay for certain goods prior to picking them up from a store, while retailers are offered a point-of-sale system that will process the orders.

Although it is based in Silicon Valley, the payment startup was founded by Italians. CTO Vincenzo di Nicola is from Teramo in Abruzzo and studied at Stanford, whilst CEO Leo Rocco was raised by Sicilian parents in the US.

While the terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, it was reported that Google was also interested in the startup.

Speaking to Italian press, Di Nicola revealed that he would not be joining Amazon along with the acquisition. In fact, he has only recently been granted US citizenship.

Although it is unclear if anyone will be joining Amazon, it appears that one of Amazon’s key interests was the technology, which will be at the heart of an “ambitious” project, according to Di Nicola.

Amazon offers several ways for people to buy things using their mobile devices. However, these are limited to in-app payment on apps sold through the company’s app store as well as APIs that allow third parties to sell Amazon merchandise through their apps.

Rumour has it that Amazon is also developing a competitor for Square. Given its firm roots in facilitating local commerce through mobile devices, Gopago could be part of that plan.

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