June 17, 2015
Rhombus, a Washington-based startup founded in 2014, has introduced a new text-to-pay service. The service offers merchants and customers a convenient way to exchange payments through SMSs.
Today, in the payments industry, we witness new payments platforms being launched every other day. The new idea from Rhombus is not a new technology but is a smart one. Rhombus allows users to send payments through a mobile device to any part of the world by sending a text message to a Rhombus number.
Rhombus was created by Edwin Elodimuor and Taiwo Oyeniyi, who have worked at Navigant Consulting and Goldman Sachs respectively.
The platform developed by Rhombus allows consumers to send payments and donations to businesses on any mobile device by texting the amount and a small description of what they want to buy to a dedicated Rhombus number. After the payment is done, the customer receives an electronic receipt by email for every payment she makes.
The payment process from Rhombus uses a bank account, supported debit or credit card to make payments. It is free of customers; for merchants, Rhombus charges a fee based on the volume of payments received. The charges are 2.9% of the transaction and an additional $0.30 per transaction to receive payments, which covers the cost of the messaging fees.
Rhombus uses Stripe technology to store payment information on a token system. Rhombus servers do not keep any payments information to improve security and gain customer confidence.
But now, the major question is, How is the solution different from Square and Venmo? Do these companies also allow payments through SMS?
In the case of Square and Venmo, a mobile app is required but in the case of Rhombus, no app is required. Users simply text a special business number and all of the transactions are performed between the sender and the receiver. The system also allows customers to send feedback to merchants.
The company claims that it is the first conventional commerce platform. It has users in more than 200 cities across the world. Rhombus also claims to have processed $400,000 transactions and also aims to keep the payment process simple for all users. Rhombus’ service is currently available only in the US, but the startup plans to expand the service overseas soon.
SMS messaging has become a popular platform because of its convenience. People prefer to use such a solution and if there is no app download or additional hardware required, it’s obvious that people are going to adopt it much faster. In the coming years, it seems that this startup will make its presence felt in the payments industry.