Fast Company reveals an interesting bit of news today: American Express has invested in PayFone, which will be used to power its mobile payment plan.
Back in August 2010 Payfone raised $11 million in Series B funding, and it’s just closed the most recent round, with a $19 million dollar pot. Obviously Payfone’s tech is hot–hot enough to get American Express, Verizon Investments, and Rogers Comms. involved alongside existing backers. Amex is particularly important in this list because as part of the deal Payfone’s mobile payments systems will be integrated into Serve, which is Amex’s attempt to reinvent its infrastructure and grasp the future business opportunities offered by the rapidly evolving mobile digital payments space.
But what exactly does Payfone do? Their website states the firm is “all about mobile payments,” which is nothing particularly novel, but the novelty is that Payfone uses the cell phone network itself to guarantee that a mobile payment is valid, can be funded, and isn’t fraudulent.
Ok…but what does this all mean? And why does Evolve Systems care enough to blog about this?
If that sounds familiar, then it should–it’s almost the exact same process needed for wireless NFC credit card payments, a system we expect to see exploding over cell phones and smartphones from about now onwards. And that reveals Amex’s plans for all to see: This investment is a precursor to enabling NFC payments from phones in stores.
And since location data is securely included in Payfone’s protocol, it could also enable a secure way for NFC phone owners to transfer money between themselves merely by putting their phones together–Payfone would do all the fund verification, work out the phones are co-located, and Amex’s Serve would handle the transaction. More than this, the investment in Payfone has a slightly tactical flavor because Amex could have invested instead in technology that didn’t use cell phone network infrastructure…and hence it’s a sign Amex knows it needs the networks on its side if it’s to be a player in the upcoming market.
The world of mobile payment processing is constantly changing, technology driven, and Evolve Systems is very optimistic about the future. Evolve Systems has been offering businesses and consumers affordable mobile payment processing for years, servicing hundreds of businesses both small and large across Minnesota and the MidWest.
Evolve Systems is always looking for new tools and business technologies that can save our clients time and money. This is why Evolve Systems offers credit card processing applications and services. The ability to run both swiped and key-entered credit card transactions through cell phone credit card processing applications is proving to be an efficient solution for merchants. We specialize in offering merchant solutions with affordable small business credit card processing services that are scalable to any sized business.
Is your business in need of affordable, cost effective mobile payment solutions or merchant payment solutions? Contact Evolve Systems today for more information about pricing, products, plans, and just how much money your business can save each month through mobile payment processing!