Author: Ingrid Lunden

WePay now accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay on the web

Apple Pay and Android Pay may be best known as Apple and Google’s mobile wallets, designed to expand their businesses in making payments with smartphones. But today comes an advance that underscores how both are also vying to be consumers’ virtual wallets for all e-commerce transactions. WePay, the payments company that competes against the likes of incumbents like FirstData and Global Payments, as well as younger tech companies like PayPal and Stripe, to help businesses take online payments — an example of one of its customers is the crowdfunding platform GoFundMe — today announced that it is expanding acceptance of both Apple Pay and Android Pay to the web. The news comes as both Google and Apple are hoping to drive much more adoption and usage of their respective wallets across all platforms. In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple Pay transactions had grown 500% in the last year, with “billions” of dollars in transactions and user numbers tripling (one report from April 2016 noted Apple Pay had 12 million users). Apple also said in January that some 2 million small businesses were already taking Apple Pay payments on the web and that it was gearing up to add larger companies like Comcast. This points to both how the company is touting its growth, but also the attention that it’s giving to growing Apple Pay specifically on the web. For its part, Google...

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Sirin, maker of the Solarin $14K smartphone, cuts 30 staff and weighs pivot

So much for super-private, high-end phones for the super-rich? Sirin Labs, the startup that makes the Solarin, an Android-based smartphone released last May with a $14,000 price tag and promise of extreme security for its owner, is laying off one-third, or 30, of its staff after seeing just $10 million in sales since launch. The startup is now weighing up a pivot of the business to “new computing devices” according to its CEO. The news of the layoffs was confirmed to us directly by Sirin after Israeli paper Calcalist reported the layoffs (accurately) and that the Solarin was getting discontinued (not so accurate, says Sirin). “Nearly a year after launching Solarin, Sirin Labs is pursuing new directions to a new product line and therefore restructuring its staff,” a spokesperson said. “One third of the staff will be let go and the company will concentrate on new hires that will fit into the new company vision. Sirin Labs is still manufacturing Solarin and provides full support on its regular channels – online and offline.” For now, Sirin will continue to support and make the current model (including in new colors, one of which is illustrated here), but at the same time it is looking to pivot to “a new kind of computing device,” according to Sirin’s founder and CEO Moshe Hogeg. Speaking to TechCrunch, he added that as part of the pivot, it is also considering shelving future...

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