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PayPal Increases Mobile Investment as Smartphones Replace Cash

PayPal is increasing investment in mobile systems as the electronic-payment service bets that smartphones will increasingly be used instead of cash and credit cards, President David Marcus said.

“Mobile is going to be at the center of your money and all the transactions you make,” Marcus said today in a interview with Bloomberg TV. “We’re doubling down on our investments in mobile.”

PayPal, a unit of EBay Inc., operator of the largest online marketplace, enables online operators and physical shops such as McDonald’s and Starbucks to process payments, mostly in North America and Europe. Going into new shops and expanding into new countries, such as Brazil and Japan, will help PayPal advance, Marcus said at Le Web, an Internet conference in Paris.

Marcus said the shift to mobile payments is a long-term transition, and PayPal, which has 137 million users worldwide, wants to become the main software system for it. Mobile payments worldwide will climb 44 percent to $235 billion this year and will reach $721 billion by 2017 according to estimates by researcher Gartner.

“It’s going to take years,” for mobile technology to become the main way to pay, Marcus said. “But we’re in it for the long run.”

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