PayPal has bought Card.io, a young company that has developed technology for using smartphone cameras to scan credit cards.

PayPal already works with Card.io, using its technology in PayPal Here to take payments simply by snapping a picture of a credit card. It can also use a triangular blue iPhone dongle for swiping them instead.

The Card.io employees will join forces with the PayPal global product team. With whom, according to PayPal's global product VP Hill Ferguson, they will "create new experiences to make it even easier for consumers and merchants to use the PayPal digital wallet."

Business as usual

Card.io is assuring developers that its iOS and Android SDKs will still be available. The company's current clients include Uber LevelUp, TaskRabbit and Lemon, with users paying $0.15 for every card scanned.

PayPal's parent company Ebay last year snapped up Zong to integrate with the payments service and enable users to add payments to their mobile bills.

PayPal is ramping up its mobile payments efforts in the face of competition from Square, another dongle-based payments app set up by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey in 2010.