Imagine if you could just walk up to a cash register when checking out, whip out your smart phone, and pay with an app instead of a credit card. That’s the promise of MobilePay USA, a startup making waves at TechCrunch Disrupt this week. For now, the app is available only for the iPhone, but it will be coming to other platforms as well.
Is this really easier than using plastic? Read on for more details and check out the video below.
Here’s how MobilePay works. When you start the app, you enter a PIN for security and it looks for retailers around you. Then you check in, select the credit card you want to use, and enter the amount to be paid. The app takes care of the rest. Sounds pretty convenient, but the store needs to accpet MobilePay USA payments, and the company hasn’t yet said anything about how many retailers are on board.
The good news is that merchants don’t need to install any equipment, as they would for mobile payment solutions utilizing NFC technology. We also like that all your credit card info is stored in the cloud (not on the device) and that if you lose your phone you can erase everything from the web.
Given that there are a few steps involved, it’s not clear that this app will really save you time versus swiping your existing cards. Nevertheless, given that MobilePay is aiming to replace loyalty cards, too, and that the company has plans to enable online purchases and sending money to a friend, it has serious potential. Watch the video below and let us know what you think.