PayPal acquires Sweden's iZettle in $2.2 billion deal

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PayPal is buying financial services startup iZettle for $2.2 billion to expand its digital payment service into thousands of brick-and-mortar stores in Europe and Latin America.

The acquisition - PayPal's largest ever - will expand PayPal's in-store presence, enabling it to reach small businesses around the world through its merchant services offering. iZettle will become the European centre of excellence for PayPal's in-store product and services offerings.

The Swedish firm is best known for its portable point of sale (POS) readers, which can plug into a smartphone or tablet to allow businesses of any size to quickly and easily begin accepting card or contactless payments.

By joining forces with PayPal, which operates in 200 countries, iZettle will be able to accelerate its worldwide expansion, including in the United States.

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iZettle expects to earn revenue of roughly $165 million in 2018 and process about $6 billion worth of transactions on its platform, according to a press release from the two companies. "Together, we will help small businesses around the world grow and thrive in the global digital economy". "With almost half a million merchants on their platform, Jacob de Geer and his team add best-in-class capabilities and talent that will expand PayPal's market opportunity to be a global one-stop solution for omnichannel commerce". "Upon closing, we will gain in-store capabilities in 11 markets, near-term in-store expansion opportunities into other existing PayPal markets, and the acceleration of omni-channel commerce solutions in Australia, U.K. and U.S". Founded in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, iZettle also started out with a mobile-phone gadget for accepting credit card payments.

On Thursday, Ghana's vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said the country will plunge into the Paypal system by the first half of 2020.

The deal will have forced PayPal's hand for years.

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