PayPal announced it has acquired Duff Research, a group of mobile app developers, keeping with the company's growing focus on mobile devices.

"As PayPal continues to be a leader in mobile payments, we are looking for talented engineers with proven mobile experience to help us imagine, develop and deliver products our customers love," says James Barrese, chief technology officer at PayPal, in a March 13 blog post. "This talented team of engineers will be joining the PayPal technology team to help us build creative and simple ways for our customers to use the PayPal digital wallet."

Acquiring Duff Research goes along with PayPal's announcement last week to simplify the process of integrating its payment method with mobile apps and other new channels with updated programmer tools.

The update to the developer tools also provides an indication that the eBay unit is expanding its use of Card.io software to allow users to initiate payment by scanning a plastic card with a smartphone camera. PayPal bought Card.io last year.

Based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Duff Research has shipped more than 40 apps for companies such as TiVo Inc. and Adidas AG. The team of engineers has won two technical Emmys and four "Best of CES" awards.

"They've built the industry's leading online payments platform, and our entire team is excited by the opportunity to work with the amazing group of technologists already at PayPal," says Duff Research in a statement on the PayPal blog. "As entrepreneurs, working in a culture of innovations and making an impact on the future of shopping and payment with millions of customers is what we found most attractive at PayPal."

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