Tag Archives: mobile payments

‘Venmo’ App at the Core of the “Future of the Wallet”

Welcome to Mozy’s App Profile, where we introduce new programs seeking to improve the way we live and socialize. This week, Mozy takes a look at Venmo, an app that enables users to quickly and seamlessly exchange money with each other.

Vennmo Mobile PaymentsThere have been a lot of exciting advances in mobile payment options, especially in the retail and commerce industries.

For instance, Square Wallet enables users to setup house accounts with their favorite stores. Then, using its GPS technology, users don’t even have to take out their phone to make a purchase (they just have to tell the cashier their name).

With a similar pre-setup account, Uber, a GPS tracking taxi service, removes the payment process entirely from the experience, instead focusing on locating a taxi and then (optional) rating the driver.

There are many other prime examples of advancing this credit card-free atmosphere—except for a person-to-person exchange. And that’s where Venmo comes into play. While PayPal is more tailored for interacting with people you do not know or trust (i.e. eBay sellers), Venmo enables users to quickly and seamlessly exchange money with each other.

But what is also unique about Venmo is that it makes payment social.

“Every payment includes a personal note explaining the social context behind the payment,” said Venmo co-founder Andrew Kortina. “People can share these payment notes with their friends, creating a news feed of all the things your friends are doing together when they happen to pay each other back: going to lunch with colleagues, splitting dinner or drinks, attending concerts, taking trips, or just sending friends money for their birthdays.”

The Venmo iPhone and Android apps also connect your phone with your bank, debit or credit card, and you can instantly send money to anyone for free. When you receive money, you can withdraw it to your bank account overnight.

Even though Venmo is more or less the first of its kind, that hasn’t stopped Kortina from thinking even further down the line.

“We’re continuing to improve [the person-to-person] experience, but now also expanding to other types of payments,” said Kortina. “For example, Venmo Touch allows you to pay with one touch inside different apps on your mobile device, so you don’t have to constantly re-type your credit card details.”

While Venmo replaces a lot of transactions that might previously have used cash, it also may enable new spending behaviors. For example, next time you want to send a friend who’s home sick $5 for chicken soup, your smartphone makes possible what wasn’t possible with cash.

 

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Mobile Pay and the SMB: 3 Tips for Now, How, and the Future

The Future of Mobile PayMobile payment is a new idea for many small-business owners. From the farm stand to the conference floor, swipe technology that turns smartphones and tablets into virtual cash registers stands to become the new norm, but implementing the apps and making sense of the process still represents a learning curve.

Like small business itself, the tech isn’t standing still, either. Magnetic stripes are on their way out, some say. Chip-and-PIN devices are picking up steam, say others. One thing’s for certain: it’s important to stay current with the latest mobile-pay possibilities and the best practices that go with them.

With some expert help, we take a look at the now, how, and future of mobile payment — a tip-sheet to help put your SMB on the cutting edge.

Mobile Payment: Getting Started (and Getting It Right)

“The U.S. is a great market for mobile payments,” said Dan Wagner, founder and chief executive officer of Powa.

Wagner offered the following ideas for implementing and refining the technology within the small-business environment, from day one to the point that even more sophisticated choices come into play.

  • Get out there. First, embrace the mobile payment idea as a strategy for growth. Mobile-payment technology is revolutionising the way small businesses can approach their clientele. “The idea is to mobilize your sales team and do business where your customers are, not where your registers have always been,” Wagner said. That is, mobile payments shouldn’t be a reactive addition to your business — something you implement just to keep up. It needs to drive the way you do business, going forward.
  • Trade differently. One example of driving the way you do business is to use mobile phones and tablets to extend your trading capability in-shop. Mobile payment can eliminate daunting line-time for customers during busy periods. They’re easy to bring out as second points-of-sale in an unexpectedly busy afternoon and multiple devices can be deployed by a number of staff over a predictably busy period, whether it’s Valentine’s Day for a florist or Christmas for a toy store.
  • Adapt (and Adopt). There are many different options out there, but one deciding factors should be compatibility. Be compatible; as magnetic stripe cards begin a phasing out process, investing in a mobile payments device that only accepts magnetic stripes will mean you could be left with an outdated piece of equipment. Small-business owners should also resist the temptation to invest in technology for the short term. Wagner expects that chip-and-PIN and near-field communication transactions — already common in Europe — are expected to become prevalent in the U.S. by 2015. Choose an interface that stands to stick around for longer than a few quarters.

Lastly, do your homework. The cost of taking transactions is another major issue that will affect your choice, Wagner cautioned. Some mobile payment devices charge considerably higher rates than others, so shop around before putting down your cash.

 

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