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PayPal acquires mobile app maker Duff Research, expands Here app to iPad

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PayPal is acquiring mobile software development startup Duff Research, a move to accelerate the rollout of its digital wallet efforts. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Duff Research has shipped more than 40 mobile apps for clients including Adidas and TiVo, claiming honors including two technical Emmy Awards. All 18 Duff employees will join the PayPal engineering team and will focus on projects designed to make PayPal's mobile payment efforts easier to use for both consumers and merchants.

"What we're really after with this deal is the innovators and experience," PayPal CTO James Barrese told Reuters. "We are reinventing our organization to be more technology-led."

eBay-owned PayPal connects 123 million registered accounts across more than 50 financial networks in 190 markets worldwide. The company is teaming with retail chains including Home Depot, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, JCPenney, Foot Locker, Office Depot and Toys "R" Us to trial mobile wallet services across more than 18,000 physical U.S. stores.

One year ago Friday, PayPal unveiled PayPal Here, which enables small businesses and other users to process credit and debit transactions by swiping cards through a triangle-shaped dongle that attaches to their mobile device. PayPal Here charges U.S. merchants a flat rate of 2.7 percent per transaction, a .05 percent savings over rival Square's mobile payment offering.

Separately, PayPal is now introducing a new version of its PayPal Here application optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad tablet. Designed expressly for the iPad's 9.7-inch touchscreen, the PayPal Here app also leverages eBay's Red Laser barcode scanning technology to speed the merchant checkout process and offers sales tracking tools as well as support for cash drawer and printer integration.

PayPal also is expanding Here to the Japanese market in partnership with operator giant Softbank, which will sell the dongle in more than 2,700 retail locations. PayPal Here's European rollout kicked off last month.

For more:
- read this Reuters article
- read this PayPal Blog entry

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PayPal Here goes on sale at AT&T stores
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