Adoption of online, in-app, and mobile payments is accelerating and the various players are trying to give the virtual, a real world grounding.

Digital commerce players want more variety for payments across the board.

PayPal’s latest results demonstrate momentum for platform user migration to mobile, while Amazon has revamped its credit card, with rewards up for grabs for both on- and offline purchases, and car companies are now gearing up for in-vehicle payments.

PayPal migrates users to mobile

In its annual results for 2016, PayPal reported 197m active consumer and merchant accounts, with over half of that base having made a payment using a mobile device during the course of the year.

The global PayPal platform processed more than $100bn of mobile payments in 2016, including more than $31bn in the final three months of 2016, both of which were record amounts for the company.

Spanning more than 200 worldwide markets and supporting over 6bn payment transactions last year, PayPal is synonymous with the online commerce space, and increasingly with mobile payments, unsurprising given its exerted push into this segment and its sizeable built-in mobile audience.

It’s also representative of the continuing progression taking place in the evolution of payments, with a plethora of players looking to facilitate a greater variety of end-user and partner options.

Amazon buffs the shine on Signature cards

Amazon is introducing a new Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card in the US, in cooperation with the bank Chase.

Amazon Prime member cardholders will receive five percent back on all Amazon purchases, as well as two percent back on payments at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and one percent back on every other transaction.

Amazon’s new credit card iterations (a second card, for users that aren’t Amazon Prime members, also offers a set of purchase rewards incentives) will have primary appeal to frequent Amazon purchasers, and especially as a further perk for Amazon Prime members.

However, the Amazon upgrade will sit alongside a raft of alternative credit and debit card offers available to consumers (albeit made of metal, for a more premium flavoured form factor).

Paving the way for pay-by-car

Volkswagen Financial Services has bought cashless parking payment service provider PayByPhone, which operates in Canada, the US, France, Switzerland, the UK and Australia.

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The paybyphone parking app allows drivers to select a desired parking spot and time period, and pay directly by phone.

Meanwhile, Daimler Financial Services acquired e-payments specialist PayCash Europe to support its Mercedes Pay platform, and Honda and Visa demoed proof-of-concept in-vehicle payments at CES 2017 with fuel pumps and smart parking meters.

For car industry heavyweights like Volkswagen, Daimler and Honda, and financial incumbents like Visa, calling dibs on ownership of in-vehicle contactless payments functionality plays into longer-term operational development strategy.

Volkswagen already has a majority stake in Sunhill Technologies, a large German cashless parking payments facilitator, and PayByPhone will allow Volkswagen to extend this capability internationally.

Mercedes Pay is set to become Daimler’s dedicated mobile payments platform, while enhancement of the established collaboration between Honda and Visa requires cooperative buy-in from critical fuelling and parking infrastructure partners.