Online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) will team with Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) to offer electronic payments in as many as seven million U.S. outlets next year, the companies announced. The move is intended to spur e-payments among users of smartphones.
The move follows last week's announcement by Starbucks (Nasdad: SBUX), the top coffeehouse chain, that it would team with Square, the San Francisco developer of an e-payment appliance for smartphones. Seattle-based Starbucks will acquire a minority stake in Square and CEO Howard Schultz will become a director.
Other companies including rivals Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company, have also announced plans for using "digital wallets" for e-payments.
Shares of eBay rose $1.12 to $46.97 in early trading while those of Discover jumped 40 cents to $37.40. Discover is based in Riverwoods, Ill., while eBay is in San Jose, Calif.
David Zielenziger is a veteran editor and journalist who has written for newspapers including the Baltimore Sun, Asian Wall Street Journal and EETimes, as well as for...