Late Wednesday night, Twitter announced it acquired mobile payment system CardSpring. Twitter’s advertising team says CardSpring will fit nicely into the company’s framework for recommending products and services — and for making purchases through tweets.
CardSpring is known for it application programming interface (API) that lets developers make online applications for credit, credit, and other types of financial transactions: think loyalty cards. In 2012 the company landed $10 million in funding, which Accel Partners and Greylock Partners led.
“At Twitter, we will continue to grow the adoption of our platform and work with our publisher, financial, and retail partners to create new, innovative commerce experiences for consumers,” says the company in a blog post.
Adding a mobile-payment infrastructure to Twitter could help the company’s initial efforts to bring actual commerce to the messaging network. Already, Starbucks has developed a “tweet-a-coffee” function; connecting your Twitter and Starbucks accounts, you can virtually tweet a cup of coffee to a friend and they will receive a $5 e-gift card. With a system for credit card entry, you may soon be able to tweet all sorts of products to your friends — and maybe even straight cash.
The acquisition falls in line with the general trend of “frictionless” payments on the Web. Earlier today, we noted that Facebook is flirting with a “buy button” so you won’t need to leave the site to make a purchase.
This is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Twitter that focus on mobile technologies. Most recent, the company snapped up mobile ad tech firm TapCommerce for $100 million. Financial details of the deal with CardSpring were not disclosed.