PayPal announced that it has agreed to acquire Honey Science Corporation, a rapidly-growing technology platform for shopping and rewards, for approximately $4 billion.
The acquisition supports PayPal and Honey’s shared mission to simplify and personalize shopping experiences for consumers while driving conversion and increasing consumer engagement and sales for merchants. The combination will help accelerate growth across both companies.
Honey posted on its website about the acquisition. “When we started Honey, our mission was to make money fair. What started as coupons has since grown into multiple products that work together to turn inefficiencies into time and money savings for everyone.”
PayPal was the first company to pull out of Facebook’s Libra project. At the time, PayPal said it wanted “to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priories as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.” It sounds like PayPal and Honey have matching goals.
I find this acquisition to be interesting because it appears to be consumer-focused. TechCrunch reported that Honey has a suite of money-saving tools to help people track prices, get alerts, and browse offers. It also has a rewards program. PayPal hopes to add Honey’s technology to its own product line, which would open up Honey’s tools to PayPal’s 300 million users.
CNBC reported that PayPal is withdrawing from Facebook’s Libra Association. CNBC provided a statement from PayPal:
PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.
Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency and Calibra, a digital wallet for Libra, in June of 2019. The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing about Facebook’s Libra project on July 16, 2019.
CNBC points out that David Marcus, who leads the Libra project at Facebook was previously the president of PayPal. According to CNBC, PayPay said that it is still “supportive of Libra’s aspirations” and that it will continue to partner with Facebook in the future.
Bloomberg reported that several founding members of the Facebook-led Libra project have been wavering whether to fully embrace the effort. According to Bloomberg, there are concerns about maintaining positive relationships with regulators who have reservations about the initiative.
The Libra Association is a group of 28 founding member companies. The organization asked those members to reaffirm their commitment to the project later this month. Before Libra was unveiled, those companies signed nonbinding letters of intent to explore the association.
CNBC reported that all founding members were expected to invest a minimum of $10 million to fund the operating costs of the association and to launch an incentive program to drive adoption. It appears that those investments have not been made.
Now, with PayPal withdrawing from the Libra Association, things aren’t looking so good. I think it might be a bit scary to be the first company to withdraw from something like this. As soon as one does, though, it creates a path for other companies to choose to leave as well.
Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that started out as a technological curiosity, has grown rapidly in the last couple years. Bitcoin adoption has been on the rise, and this has prompted the development of tools and services that help Bitcoin users convert their digital money into real-world cash. Coinbase, one of the larger Bitcoin players in the market, described itself from the beginning as a “PayPal-like” service, where users could log in and convert Bitcoin to cash, or vice versa.
Expanding its efforts to make Bitcoin exchanges even easier, Coinbase recently announced it will be adding support for PayPal and credit cards. From a Coinbase e-mail sent earlier this week:
One of our objectives at Coinbase is to add as many funding mechanisms as possible to make exchanging digital currency easy. As a step in that direction, Coinbase now accepts PayPal (for bitcoin sells) and credit cards (for bitcoin buys).
It’s worth noting that Coinbase isn’t using both of these new services for everything. As the e-mail states. Coinbase users will be able to use PayPal when selling Bitcoin, and they’ll be able to use credit cards for Bitcoin purchases. Previously, Coinbase only conducted transactions thru registered bank accounts.
These new payment systems are currently in beta, but they are accessible to most Coinbase users.
PayPal, the ubiquitous money-handling service used by millions of people around the world, came under fire earlier this year after the company posted an update to its terms of service. That update contained language that made it sound like PayPal could (and would) be able to constantly make automated phone calls to its customers. Not surprisingly, people weren’t too happy about the idea of PayPal’s robocalls interrupting their dinner. This news even caught the attention of some lawmakers in Congress.
In a bid to try and reverse the damage caused by this public relations blunder, PayPal sent out an e-mail last week, attempting to clarify the nature of these robocalls:
Unfortunately, some of the language in this update caused confusion and concern with some of our customers about how we may contact you.
To clear up any confusion, we have modified the terms of Section 1.10 of our User Agreement. The new language is intended to make it clear that PayPal primarily uses autodialed or prerecorded calls and texts to:
- Help detect, investigate and protect our customers from fraud
- Provide notices to our customers regarding their accounts or account activity
- Collect a debt owed to us
In addition, the new Section 1.10(a) and 1.10(b) makes it clear that:
- We will not use autodialed or prerecorded calls or texts to contact our customers for marketing purposes without prior express written consent. Customers can continue to enjoy our products and services without needing to consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls or texts
- Customers can continue to enjoy our products and services without needing to consent to receive autodialed or prerecorded calls or texts
- We respect our customers’ communications preferences and recognize that their consent is required for certain autodialed and prerecorded calls and texts. Customers may revoke consent to receive these communications by contacting PayPal customer support and informing us of their preferences.
So while these terms do still indicate that PayPal may indeed robocall you, it’ll only happen if they have a specific reason due to problems with your account like potential fraud or to collect a debt. PayPal won’t be calling you to offer new services or upsell you on account upgrades.
Looks like you can relax now if you were planning on adding PayPal’s phone number to your block list.
It is true – eBay and PayPal are going to separate from each other. This was announced by eBay in a post on their blog that was titled: “Ebay Inc. to separate eBay and PayPal into independent publicly traded companies in 2015.” PayPal posted the same thing on their blog The “new” eBay and the “new” PayPal are each getting their own new CEOs.
Why is this being done? According to both eBay and PayPal, it is because they believe that each entity will “benefit more and create greater value from the strategic focus, speed, flexibility and agility that come with being independent publicly traded companies.” The blog posts also say that eBay “expects to complete the transaction as a tax-free spin-off in the second half of 2015”.
The CEO of the “new” eBay company will be Devin Wenig, who is currently president of eBay Marketplaces. Dan Schulman has been named as President of PayPal, effective immediately, and as CEO-designee of the standalone “new” PayPal company after the separation.
PayPal, the popular online payment transfer service owned by Ebay, is currently under fire on two fronts. The banking service is vulnerable to attck, thanks to a bug in its system, and also is refusing to pay its standard bounty to the person who found said vulnerability, citing that security researches must be at least 18 years of age, leaving the 17 year old out in the cold.
German Robert Kugler, the security researcher behind the bug, posted details about the vulnerability on the Full Disclosure mailing list Friday.
“Unfortunately PayPal disqualified me from receiving any bounty payment because of being 17 years old” Kugler, who turns 18 next March, wrote on Seclists.
The bug bounty program has been in effect since June of 2012. Other companies, including Firefox and Mozilla have similar programs and PayPal does not list any age requirement in the literature for its standards of this.
As for the flaw, it is in XSS (cross-site scripting) and the company plans to fix the issue, but is refusing comment on the failure to pay the bounty. GNC earlier sent an email to the service, but has received no reply.