Rocket Internet’s Payleven yesterday released its mobile payments API to developers, timed to coincide with its launch in Italy.
Payleven, like US-based Square and fellow “European Squares” SumUp and iZettle, offers a “plug and pay” app and card reader combo, allowing merchants to turn smartphones or tablets into a terminal to enable payments anytime, anywhere, in exchange for a small fee.
The expansion into Italy brings Payleven’s active markets to six (Italy plus Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK).
Meanwhile, Payleven’s API release will allow third-party developers to integrate its payments solution into their apps. (Winning the support of Europe’s developers is more crucial to the success of portfolio mate Paymill, Rocket Internet’s answer to Stripe in the US).
Square – co-founded by Jack Dorsey, who previously co-founded Twitter – is yet to leave the US but has confirmed plans to expand internationally this year. That news followed Square’s latest venture capital fundraising round of $200million from Citi Ventures, Rizvi Traverse Management and Starbucks, which has already given the “green light” for Square to expand to its coffee shop locations outside the US.