Mobile Wallet Media is a news media, analyst, marketing and consulting firm focused on the future of mobile: payments, marketing, loyalty commerce, security, prepaid, virtual currency, daily deals and the convergence of them all with social and local. The Chief Editor, Randy Smith, was the primary founder, inventor and former CEO of MobilePayUSA, a TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Alley Winner.
Q: Are you offering Open API like Facebook or Apple?
Darren: Reality is we are not Facebook or Apple. Ideally that is where we want to be because you want everyone connecting to your API. It makes the most sense for scalability. The reality of the situation is that may or may not happen. For us though it does not matter. We have architected an ISO gateway for doing standard ISO 8583 out of the POS and an API gateway. There are going to be plenty of merchants unable to connect to an API. The API gateway could potentially be any number of different APIs. Sitting right behind it is a ubiquitous transformation layer. Our system fundamentally supports having a myriad of connection mechanisms. If we want to effect a change on the system it’s an operational change, not a code change. When up were up against competitor in a RFP process and competitors are saying we can integrate here and there to deliver loyalty, gift offers, we say we have done it and our platform does all this together. If you have a stored value provider, we can carve that that piece out because of our modular and flexible platform. You can plug and play these things and go anywhere if they already have an existing contract they want to keep. This was a core tenant at Wild Card Systems. I led product development there. Everything we did on the system, whether it was internal or a customer externally was all through API’s. Therefore we can expose as much or as little functionality without having to go and build a new tool set to make it happen.
Q: Are you going to offer a Mobile Wallet?
Darren: First off I know I talked about mobile wallet on the panel, but I hate the moniker ‘mobile wallet’. I think that what I can tell you is fundamentally, yes, we’ll have a funding and payment source like Starbucks and Dunkin. Are we going to provide a ubiquitous wallet where you have credit, debit, etc. and pay with whatever you want, the answer right now is no. That would be wonderful, but right now no.
Q: Couldn't you just partner with PayPal or like company?
Darren: Well it’s not even that. The issue is how do you transact against that? So there’s all sorts of potential issues around that handshake that has to take place between POS devices and mobile devices. When your talking open network payment sources things start to get a bit stickier. Visa has to be OK with using a bar code. Any time your doing anything out of the norm you’ve got to get network approval to make that happen. Do we want to go there? Yes. Are we going to go there before a standard is out there? I don’t know if we are going to or not.
In regards to Darren’s last response, maybe he has yet to read my last article and will very much want to read my next one regarding a fully integrated solution I invented, discovered, pieced together and my team built and refined for MobilePayUSA. This solution was engineered around needing but a single agreement with a single payment network to enable ubiquitous mobile payments at POS without need for integration at POS, new hardware or even new software. It also eliminates merchant liability for fraud in regarding stolen card data because it is never shared with the merchant. It enabled merchant systems to connect to our platform through an API or through their payment gateway to enable mobile payments without sharing card data with merchants. Of course, the offer still stands, at least until my next article in series is published, to have exclusive access to knowledge of this unique and yet to surface methodology of enabling mobile payments without sharing card credentials at point of sale, not even tokenized credentials.
Q: Regarding POS enablement for mobile transactions, are you going to launch with bar codes or are you going to build something that can interface on a merchant by merchant basis?
Darren: Yes, that’s it. I mentioned on the panel only one of our customers we are launching is going to be using a bar code. It’s going to be open. Two of the customers are launching very unique solutions. One is very unique in that mobile to POS handshake. So no matter the mobile POS tech that surfaces we can incorporate it.
End of interview.
So it seems to me that Corfire (runs Dunkin Donuts app), FIS (acquired mfoundry that ran original Starbucks Card Mobile app), Paydiant and the likes offering white-label solutions to power retail mobile payment apps will have a strong competitor in CARDFREE. Darren Beyer said there is much more he’d love to share but could not at this time. I’m looking forward to seeing their initial apps launched and which clients have chosen them as their service provider for their proprietary mobile wallet and loyalty offering. It seems they are capable of delivering services that enable merchants to really engage their customers in a personalized and comprehensive manner, while also delivering cost savings.
If I seem a bit 'Homerish' about CARDFREE, it's probably because in 2010-2011 my vision and plans for platform and product with MobilePayUSA were very similar to that of CARDFREE. We had planned to offer a full array of bundled services much like CARDFREE is planning to and provide savings at every turn. The more a merchant or consumer would engage, the more they would benefit by saving time and money and added convenience. Such a platform should be a key centrifuge to delivering the future of mobile commerce for in-store purchases. The end goal and derivative of such mobile wallets and apps is to provide engagement with a merchant brand like never before. Also, the apps that can leverage and capture customer reach the best will also be a key contributing factor to gaining mobile transaction market share.
Check back next week for an article with key takeaways from the 6th MCIP Summit and soon thereafter for an article on a seamless solution to enable disruption in the mobile payments and mobile/digital wallet space. And as a heads up to the industry, I also have plans to disrupt/preempt mobile/card based loyalty, offers, social and cause marketing through the mobile/digital wallet (unless of course I receive an offer I can't refuse to share such insights and talents exclusively with a single company ready to grab mobile wallet market share).
The 'Disruptive Innovation Meteor' named MOBILE has struck the world's of retail payments, banking and marketing. Firms wanting to survive, compete and win in this new environment must adapt by embracing disruptive innovation or risk becoming irrelevant or extinct. Read story