Braintree and Square are among the application-development companies disrupting the payments-processing business, Steve Patterson writes. Square's approach measures people's use of its self-service site and Braintree uses an innovative software-application programming interface to simplify development for small businesses using Web commerce. "The large payment networks, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover have become increasingly open, modular and decoupled to appeal to a broad set of merchant acquirers and payment processors," Patterson writes.

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