PayPal Buys Credit Card Scanning Startup Card.IO


PayPal announced via their blog today, that they have scooped up the San Francisco-based company Card.IO. You may remember their app, the one where you didn’t need a dongle (like those other guys) to make simple, hassle-free credit card transactions. Simply take a pic of the issuers credit card and boom — you were up and on your way. PayPal Vice President of Global Product said via the PayPal blog:

I’m excited to announce that PayPal has acquired, a San Francisco-based company that provides technology for developers to capture credit card information by using the camera on a smartphone.

We first met with the team at when we were working on integrating their technology into the PayPal Here mobile app. While working with them, we were simply blown away by the creativity and drive of their employees. They are a passionate and independent team that likes solving large, complex problems and we wanted them to join our team. Great people make great products and great products are what make companies great. The employees at will be joining the PayPal global product team in San Jose to help us create new experiences to make it even easier for consumers and merchants to use the PayPal digital wallet. The current technology will remain available to developers for use in their own applications.

The team is joining PayPal for the same reasons that the Zong team was excited to join PayPal last year –  to get the opportunity to work on projects that will accelerate innovation at a scale that’s just not possible at a startup.

We can’t wait to get them involved in helping us change the future of shopping and payments.

–Hill Ferguson, Vice President of Global Product, PayPal

Safe to say that PayPal will soon add the ability to scan credit cards for easy mobile transactions. This is an absolute lifesaver for those “friends” that never seem to carry any cash on them when it’s time to help out with gas.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. YES!! Now there will be no excuses. It’s funny because that’s the exact situation for me. LoL!!

    1. That, and back alley Craigslist transactions :P

      1. BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!! So true!!

  2. who would trust someone taking a picture of their credit card. Pay pal cannot be that stupid.

    1. Agreed. I wonder how this would work. Current Merchant Payment Systems (including Square) do not keep the credit card info. If you take a photo of someone’s card, what happens to the photo?? Is it added to your “camera roll” or stored locally?

      Hopefully, the app will delete the photo after the necessary info is passed along to the processor.

      1. on a minor detail…i wonder how sensitive the app would be when it views a credit card that has been used to death, e.g., the numbers have been flattened and the silver paint on it is gone. just curious…

      2. Like other scanning apps (eg ShopSavvy) it probably doesn’t actually take a photo.

  3. Really! That’s great for the paypal users. I am really impressed to read that news update. PayPal will soon add the ability to scan credit cards for easy mobile transactions. Thanks for input this concept!

  4. it’s less appropriate to say that you take a picture of the Credit Card. It is more that you use the phone’s camera to OCR scan the card for the numbers. In the end however the information on the front of the card is not significantly different from the information stored in the magnetic strip. There is little stopping software from storing your CC information any way you look at it.

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