Days after iZettle said it planned to seek a listing on the NASDAQ Stockholm stock exchange, PayPal Holdings Inc. has announced that it is acquiring the Swedish payments company for $2.2 billion in cash. With the deal, which may close in the third quarter, iZettle’s co-founder and CEO, Jacob de Geer, will reportedly continue on with iZettle, TechCrunch reported.
“iZettle and PayPal are a strategic fit, with a shared mission, values and culture – and complementary product offerings and geographies,” said PayPal president and CEO, Dan Schulman, in a statement. “In today’s digital world, consumers want to be able to buy when, where and how they want. With nearly 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.”
The news comes almost one year after iZettle said it would enable users across Europe to register local mobile payments methods and send invoices through its point-of-sale app. With the app, businesses could enable the British Pay by Bank app, Swedish Swish, Norwegian Vipps and MobilePay in Denmark, Finland and Norway.
It can be easy to overlook the power of local mobile payments, Geer had told PYMNTS, but in many European markets, that is akin to overlooking a substantial business opportunity. “In Sweden, we have … Swish that is currently used by 5.5 million Swedes. There are only nine million people in this country.”
Vipps is Swish’s Norwegian equivalent and has a local adoption rate above 50 percent; MobilePay is installed on nine out of 10 smartphones in Denmark, and is also used in Finland and Norway.
“It is becoming a pretty big deal for merchants to accept these payments in an easy way,” de Geer noted, as they are increasingly driving a very important share of commerce in their home markets. But, unlike the U.S., which is a unified market, incorporating local payments methods is challenging, because “things are very, very local,” such as local language and commerce customs.