GoPago is an app-based prepay shopping service that allows consumers to buy goods before picking them up in stores, where the company also sells integrated point of sale systems that connect with its service and the stores'. The move is accompanied by hints that Amazon has an "ambitious" project underway in the area of mobile payments.
GoPago is actually based in Silicon Valley, but has Italian founders, and it looks like the Amazon deal was mainly for the firm's technology. Google is also said to have been interested in the firm.
The rumors about Amazon's ambitions are nebulous. But that the GoPago buyout was a technology-based move is interesting: It implies Amazon has very specific plans for the technology possibly in the short term, rather than hoping to integrate some intellectual talent to the company to produce results in the longer term. The company has been experimenting with a similar system to GoPago's, where customers buy goods online but pick them up at physical locations, but the way GoPago integrates with real stores' systems could suggest Amazon wants to insert itself into real in-store shopping and, then, mobile payments--possibly because of GoPago's similarity with Square's POS device. After all, who hasn't browsed a product on Amazon while standing in a store?
[Image: Flickr user William Christiansen, GoPago]