Simply put, HomeATM Provides Online Shoppers With the Ability to Swipe and Process Their Own Credit/Debit Cards, with Their Own Point of Sale (POS) Device Within the Friendly Confines of Their Own Home. My point is this: When online shopping, the "Point" Of Sale is where the consumer is...at home. Therefore, that's where the "SwipePIN" device should be. No home should be without one if they intend to shop and buy online.
Assuming an online shopper desires (and they do) a secure transaction, then typing in their Personal Account Numbers (PAN) is not a good idea...period. Consumers wouldn't write down their account numbers when going to a bricks and mortal retail store, so why do we think it prudent to do it when visiting a virtual one online?
In recent past, we would "hand over" our credit and debit cards, but those days are over as now, those very same cards don't leave our hands. "We swipe our cards ourselves." The reasons for doing so are fraud/security related, so, if consumers want a more secure online transaction, then why wouldn't they do the same thing online? Fact is, they would.
Once a consumer is armed with a personal swiping device which never leaves the safety of their home they've protected themselves against keylogging, screen-scraping, wardriving, skimming and myriad other methods used by hackers to intercept online transactions. PIN Debit, (Swipe and Enter PIN) is the most secure way to purchase online, which is why it offers internet retailers the lowest possible Interchange Rate available. Oh, and did I mention that HomeATM offers about the easiest way in the world to securely send money to anyone anywhere in the world?
Venture firms are continuing to fund startups that hope to offer better ways to pay online, while the growth of Software as a Service (SaaS) in the enterprise has led to a need for new tools in corporate billing management. Further out, buying items over a mobile phone presents a multibillion-dollar opportunity—if someone can make it easy.
Despite the early-mover advantage PayPal has, and the presence of rival offerings from Internet giant Google (GOOG), there are plenty of retailers who only accept credit cards for online purchases. That eliminates their ability to sell to those without credit and those concerned with security online.
There are a few ways rival online payment services can find success against PayPal, wrote Jim Friedland, an analyst at Cowan & Co. earlier this week, citing a few examples: providing a neutral independent platform (PayPal is owned by Web retailer eBay (EBAY)), extending credit to shoppers, and offering lower transaction fees.
Editor's Note: So the few ways rival payment services can find success against PayPal would be to:
- Create the ability to sell to those without credit cards
- Provide a more secure transaction
- Offer lower transaction fees
- Make it easy.
Those without credit cards have an ATM card or debit card, so credit isn't necessarily needed. Swiping the card provides a highly secure transaction, (covered) and entering the PIN provides dual authentication, which is why Card Present PIN Authenticated transaction fees are significantly lower than the more risky Card Not Present (CNP) rates, (covered) and HomeATM does it with the same methodology consumers are accustomed to utilizing at a retail location...by swiping their card into a POS device. Easy as 1-2-3-4. The article continues...
And startups are still searching for other opportunities online. Just last week online bill pay startup eBillMe raised $12 million from Canaan Partners and New Celtic Ventures. The company offers vendors an alternative to credit cards by allowing shoppers to receive a bill at their online banking portal. This allows shoppers to avoid putting their personal information on the merchant's site and allows for a cash, rather than credit, transaction.
Mobile Payments to Climb
But online sales are no longer limited to the PC. U.S. consumers are starting to use their mobile phones to make purchases, and this could be a growing market in the years to come. But there are challenges ahead. Bigger players such as PayPal and credit-card companies already offer mobile-payment products, and the current U.S. market for mobile-pay services is still small.
Only 1.5 percent of U.S. consumers have ever used their mobile phones to make a payment, but almost 50 percent are aware that they can do so, according to a survey released this week. The research, commissioned by financial firm Mercatus, predicts that with better services and customer education the percentage of people who will make payments from their mobile phones is likely to grow in five years to 15 percent among those age 18 to 30.The growing use of smartphones and shopping sites optimized for mobiles require payment options that are easier than keying in a 16-digit credit-card number. Startups such as angel-backed Billing Revolution and Zong, which launched earlier this month after raising more than $12 million in venture capital, are tackling the problem of buying on your mobile phone. Zong sends purchase information to carriers, which then bill subscribers for their purchases, while Billing Revolution offers a mobile credit-card processing platform. In April, Obopay scored $20 million for its money-transfer-via-mobile efforts.
Enterprise Customers Are an Opportunity
While the opportunity in mobile is still just cresting the horizon, enterprise customers provide an immediate opportunity for startups seeking to streamline transactions. In March, two startups offering an online billing platform for companies delivering SaaS products raised money. Zuora brought in $6.5 million in first-round funding led by Benchmark Capital for its platform. Rival Vindicia announced a $5.6 million round led by DCM and Leader Ventures.
These companies aim to make it easier for SaaS vendors to track and bill all of their customers. They also help customers track and manage multiple software services they might be buying—a task akin to managing household bills from tens or even hundreds of service providers. Tim McAdam, a general partner with Trinity Ventures, says these sorts of billing platforms and ways to track payments still represent a big category and no one has mastered it yet.
With everyone searching for ways to make money online that don't revolve around advertising, offering seamless but secure online payments will go a long way in enabling alternative business models.
Provided by GigaOm