Embed credit card acceptance into your own app @CardFlight

CardFlight is a US-based company that enables developers to integrate in-person card payments into their own application. The company aims to help developers to create their own branded app and take in-person credit card payments from it. CardFlight was formerly LocalBonus and changed its name to CardFlight in August 2013. This company which was founded by Derek Webster was incorporated in the year 2011 and is based in New York.

After launching a private beta of services in May 2013, CardFlight has raised $1.6 Mn in October, 2013 as seed capital from ff Venture Capital, a VC firm which focuses on early stage technology startups. The other competing venture capital funds and angel investors included Payment Ventures, ApostolosApostolakis, Roundtable Accelerator, Plug & Play Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital etc. There have also been talks that ff Venture Capital founding partner John Frankel will join the company’s board. CardFlight has plans to use this capital to increase the speed of its R&D efforts, to minimize cycle time and development costs and expand its clientele base. This will be complemented by increase in its manpower to increase client penetration and diversify its products to capture new verticals beyond EventFarm. All this will contribute to adding new features to their product and integrating with even more credit card processors.

CardFlight provides its clients, which are large and medium sized merchants, with a mobile payments platform that includes:

  • Encrypted magnetic strip readers that work through the audio jack of smartphones and tablets
  • Software Development Kits (SDKs) for both iOS and Android platforms. The CardFlight mobile payments SDK enable clients to easily integrate payment acceptance into their own applications.
  • Payment gateway service which lets the client use virtually any merchant account from their choice of processors.

According to CardFlight, they have empowered sellers by creating hardware that will process payments onto any user’s customized application. This eliminates middlemen such as Paypal and allows sellers to customize their payment system. This also ensures app developers take in-person payments within their own apps. CardFlight's platform connects mobile app developers to payment processors, focusing on the 90+% of credit card payments that happen in real life. Clients retain full control of their integrated app experience without dealing with the typical complexity of payments integrations. Developers essentially get the benefits of an integrated product without having to deal with the complexity of building payments solutions right from scratch and also customize their mobile application.

The payment data is tied up to the other functions of the customers’ application such as CRM, inventory management, fulfillment, reporting and analytics. The security is maintained using SDK which makes it easy to build applications that include payment acceptance. CardFlight has SDKs available for both iOS and Android platforms. As a developer using CardFlight, you don't need to worry about Apple policies in this case wherein you have to go through their payment gateway for digital goods. This is a card present situation. CardFlight claims that their platform works with most leading payment processors, including Stripe, TSYS, Vantiv, Chase Paymentech and WorldPay etc. as it supports multiple processors of all types the developers get the best rates

While other companies like Square and PayPal have provided businesses with the ability to collect payments with mobile credit card readers, businesses rely on the provider’s apps to process those payments. CardFlight allows customers to embed card payment acceptance into their own apps. This makes it stand apart from competitors like Square, which controls the hardware, software and user experience at the point of sale. CardFlight doesn’t directly provide merchant accounts, but routes transactions to major processors allowing developers to negotiate the lowest processing costs.

LTP View: Allowing end users to build their own custom solution for accepting payments is not new and has been around for some time now. Such solutions are beneficial for developers as it allows to rebrand and may also work in the favor of CardFlight. This would help them get a better acceptance to some of their competitors which are not white labeled.