PayPal has just announced its purchase of mobile payment tech firm Braintree in a cash deal worth $800 million, declaring that the young firm is a “perfect fit” with one of the longest-established names in online payments.
Braintree operates a digital payment platform that works behind the scenes to make many more well-known services work–these include names like Airbnb, TaskRabbit, OpenTable, and Uber. In the press release about the new acquisition, eBay’s president and CEO John Donahoe notes that Braintree will “help accelerate PayPal’s global leadership in mobile payments,” making it plain for all to see that PayPal, which has been making small moves to position itself in the next generation of digital payment tech, is taking its plans very seriously. Braintree will remain as a separate service inside PayPal, and its leadership will simply report to PayPal’s president.
Braintree was in the news just the other day, as it was one of the partners for Autofill, a very small move by Facebook to facilitate simpler mobile credit card payments. Separately, Fast Company recently speculated that by buying Braintree, PayPal (whose stodgy reputation isn’t helped by continued claims of poor treatment of customers and by messing up crowdsourcing payments) could actually become cool again.