There is a paradigm shift towards digital technologies in general and electronic/mobile commerce/payments in particular. Mobile Commerce is estimated to reach $278.9 Bn by 2018 up from $13.8 Bn in 2013, according to PRWeb. With this increase, comes a shift in the way we make payments across the globe. There will be an estimated 1.73 Bn users of social networks in 2013 which will rise to 2.55 Bn 2017 according to a report by eMarketer. It would be an understatement to say that social media will play a major role in the future of payments.
A number of platforms and solutions have emerged in order to tap into this market. Some of them have been discussed below:
Wrapp enables friends to contribute to gifts, and makes it fun and easy to give, receive and redeem using smartphones and the internet. The company was founded in May 2011 by Hjalmar Winbladh (CEO), Carl Fritjofsson (COO) and Andreas Ehn (CTO). Wrapp has received a total funding of $25.5 Mn through investors Atomico, Creandum, Greylock Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, American Express, Greylock Partners and SEB Private Equity. Wrapp’s board of directors include Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn co-founder), Fabian Månsson (former global CEO of H&M and Eddie Bauer) and Niklas Zennström (Skype co-founder).
- Wrapp lets you give your friends free gifts or treat them to paid gift cards. It helps choose from a growing list of brands and send gifts via Facebook, email or SMS from your phone or desktop.
- You can discover new stores, learn about retailers and visit their online stores to check what’s in stock. Wrapp enables you to follow your favorite brands to get updates and special offers.
- Claim special offers before heading out to shop, or send them to a friend for free.
- Wrapp gives you updates about new brands and promotions so you never leave home without some offers in your pocket.
Dwolla, a US based e-commerce company, provides an online payment system and mobile payments network only in the US. Originally founded in June, 2008, Dwolla was launched in the US on December 1, 2009, by Ben Milne (CEO) and Shane Neuerburg (CTO) as founders, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dwolla integrates with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to allow users to send and receive transactions with their friends, followers and connections. When the user connects a social network to Dwolla:
- The user’s connections appear in his Dwolla contacts list
- He can then quickly send or request money to/from any of his friends.
- On Facebook and LinkedIn, the user’s friend receives a “post” that includes a link to claim the money that he sent or fulfill his request for money.
- On Twitter, the user’s friend will receive a direct message.
- Conversely, users can also use #Dwolla to send money to anyone on Twitter (when logged in) by just including the amount in this format:
$X.XX ($1.00 for example), the receiver’s Twitter handle and the hashtag “#dwolla”.
There will be an estimated 1.73 Bn users of social networks in 2013 which will rise to 2.55 Bn 2017 according to a report by eMarketer. To leverage this market, Fastacash is providing a platform that enables value transfer to be attached to meta data and sent through any social network and any messaging channel. The channel can be Facebook, skype, whattsapp or any other messaging channel.
Fastacash is a completely channel agnostic i.e it allows the sender and the reciever to choose the channel.
Some features of Fastacash:
- The aim of the application is to enable value transfers between end users and to end users. The value can be in terms of money, airtime, coupons, tokens and meta data being defined as a video, a file transfer or a marketing message.
- Peer to peer money transfer is enabled through social media such as Facebook, twitter etc. It has both the ask functionality(ask for funds) and the spend functionality.
- A pincode provides an added layer of protection. Fastacash provides the ability to bundle metadata with the money that is being transferred. It thus enables customizable, fast to link money transfer combined with meta data like video’s , photos etc. This helps to create a truly social experience.
- This is very useful in digital marketing where the meta data is combined with digital content for e.g the cash transfer. This service can be useful for prepaid credit cards, for gaming companies who want to move digital goods etc.
- The transfer is initiated through a link sent to the end users. So the end users are able to make the transaction with or without the Fastacash application.
- The link takes the customer on to a web application, onboards them into a digital environment and helps them transact.
The company says that Fastacash is easy to use and secure. It allows anyone who wants to move value together with meta data across any social channel, any messaging channel with the sender and the receiver having the choice of the channel to communicate.
Azimo, is a global payment processing business providing internet and mobile based inter-country consumer money transfer services. The company has recently raised $10 Mn in Series A Funding led by Greycroft Partners with participation from Frontier Investment Group, TA Ventures, eVentures, RI Digital Ventures and KRW Schindler Investments.
This is a video that shows you what Azimo is all about: Azimo enables user to send money via Facebook:
- The sender invites their intended recipient to sign up to Azimo via an automatically sent Facebook message.
- The recipient then logs into Azimo’s Facebook app and fills out their details, including where they want the money sent to, which could be one of the 150,000 payout desks in the 190 + countries supported, a mobile phone ‘top up’, or a bank account.
- After the recipient fills out that crucial information those details which are kept hidden from the sender.
The company has recently raised $10 Mn in Series A Funding led by Greycroft Partners with participation from Frontier Investment Group, TA Ventures, eVentures, RI Digital Ventures and KRW Schindler Investments.
BuyBox is a French cloud based company established in 2010 that develops social payments solutions. BuyBox also allows online stores to collect group payments for things such as birthday presents. The solution is offered by BuyBox as a white label, enabling e-merchants to integrate group payment functionality into their existing e-commerce processes.
The business model of the firm is to offer a simple SaaS platform for groups and social payments. It allows e-merchants to easily collect added value payments, from sharing purchase of an expensive item to issuing their own merchant social gift cards. Revenue is generated by providing service to large # of sites – through cost effective plans. End users are e-merchants’ customers such as those of Celio, Wonderbox.fr and Micromania (gaming). Buybox has been targeting e-merchants who have a defined social commerce strategy.
‘Jifiti’ was founded in September 2011 by Yaacov Martin, CTO Meir Dudai and CMOShaul Weisban. Their aim was to merge the unmatched shopping experience which a customer can only get in-store with the unmatched shopping convenience that he can only get online. It is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio and its development office is in Israel. It is backed by investors - Simon Property Group, a real estate company operating more than 300 malls in the U.S. and Asia, Schottenstein Stores Corporation and the Jesselson Capital Group. Recently, Jifiti has raised seed funding of $2.5 million from these investors.
Jifiti`s business model is to make gift giving easier and to drive in-store sales for retailers by offering gift givers the ability to scan and purchase an item in-store, or select from in-trend gifts inside the app, and teleport it to the recipient. Gift givers can use Facebook, twitter (@jifitigifts), email, or SMS to share gift registries with their family and friends. To redeem the gift, the ‘giftee’ has to visit the retailer’s shop to pick up the item that the ‘gifter’ has selected in his preferred color or size, or can use it as virtual gift card to pick out an alternative. Another innovative feature incorporated in Jifiti`s business model is that of partial gifting/chip in. If a family member or friend wants to chip in towards a large and expensive item, they can do so in any increment that they wish.
Copious is a social marketplace for buying from and selling to people. Think eBay meets Facebook and Twitter. Copious makesit easy for you to give away things you have in your home or closet that you no longer need, but your friends really want. Everyone has things in their home, closet or apartment that are valuable, but no longer useful to their owner. Copious allows users to put items up for grab, for their friends to take off their hands.
How does it work?
- Download the Copious app.
- Take a picture of the item you’re looking to unload.
- Share it with friends you think might be interested in owning the item.
- Let friends claim your stuff, and take it off your hands.
- When friends share items with you, you’ll be able to claim their treasures for your very own too.
GiveForward provides free online fundraising pages allowing friends and family to raise money directly for a loved one when they need it the most. It enables you to set up a page in minutes, share it with friends and instantly create a community of support. The company was Co-Founded in 2008 by Desiree Vargas Wrigley (CEO) and Ethan Austin (President). The company has received a total funding of $2.52 Million.
This video gives you an overview of their platform:
- GiveForward says that their fundraisers work best for - Medical Expenses including travel, Out-of-pocket living expenses that are associated with an illness or injury, “Bucket lists” associated with a terminal illness, Funeral expenses and memorial funds.
- GiveForward’s tips, tools and integration with Facebook and PayPal make fundraising simple.
- Donors and visitors are able to send virtual hugs and share words of hope on the GiveForward page.
- They use 128-bit SSL encryption, the highest level of security on the Internet.
- Supporters can give using a credit or debit card.