eBay underperforms after Square launches e-mail-based payments service

|About: eBay Inc. (EBAY)|By:, SA News Editor

Square Cash, a new service from the mobile payments upstart, allows users to send payments for free via e-mail simply by typing the payment amount in the subject line and sending a CC e-mail to a Square address. Users only need to provide Square with debit card info - no accounts have to be created, or bank account numbers provided. Android and iPhone apps have been launched.

The product launch has led eBay (EBAY -0.1%) to trade near breakeven on a day when the Nasdaq is up 1.1%. Square and PayPal each already offer several competing offline/mobile payments products/services; Square Cash takes aim at both PayPal's core payments services, and the mobile payments platform offered by Braintree's Venmo unit (soon to be in PayPal's hands).

However, unlike Login and Pay with Amazon, Square Cash isn't a direct threat to PayPal's merchant transactions. It arrives shortly after Google made it possible for Wallet users to send money for free via e-mail, and added a money-attachment feature to Gmail.

PayPal has been busy adding new payment options (I, II) to its apps.