eBay buys SoLoMo payments company Fig Card

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eBay has made a really interesting payment acquisition according to the Boston Globe. It’s only a three man start up outfit, but Fig Card, founded just over a year ago has apparently attracted the attention of John Donahoe eBay’s CEO, who snapped up the company which will now, unsurprisingly, report to PayPal.

Fig aim to make local in-person payments via your mobile handset simple. All you need to do is download an app to your mobile phone and so long as the retailer has Fig connected up to their point of sale till solution.

When you’re ready to pay you launch the app, click ready to pay when you reach the cashier and once you confirm the amount payment is complete.

Currently the solution charges your credit card, but I strongly suspect by the time it’s patent is approved and the Fig Card is rolled out further than the current small pilot program in Boston that it will morph into a PayPal app.

One of the best parts of the Fig Card is the ability for the retailer to use it as an electronic loyalty card or of course to offer discount coupons. It would be a simple matter to add social integration to enable users to post their purchases to Twitter or Facebook and let their friends know when they find a great restaurant for example.

The lines between off line and online commerce are blurring according to eBay and they’re looking at social, local and mobile (with the somewhat awkward portmanteau abbreviation, SoLoMo). It’s the equivalent of the old print yellow pages but better. Being able to market to customers in the vicinity of your business, and more importantly take payment in a convenient way for the customer is the aim and Fig Card ticks all the boxes as well as being a perfect integration for eBay’s PayPal payments business.

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