M-commerce start-up creates unique credit card scanning for cameraphones
06 July 2011 - 14:24 by David Aiken
A new company, founded by a pair who previously worked at the Google-owned AdMob, is promising to make m-commerce transactions even easier, with a new service that will use cameraphones to scan in payment card details and automatically fill out forms during safe shopping online.
Card.io is the firm formed by Mike Mettler and Josh Bleecher Snyder, with over a million dollars in funding already accrued in order to push the venture forwards.
The intention of the company is to use the software technology which it has developed to court companies developing apps for mobile operating systems like Android and Apple's iOS.
A number of partner businesses have already got onboard with Card.io and it will be integrated into services such as ticketing for live events and travel, as well as standard retail.
At the moment the big news in the mobile industry is that Near Field Communication (NFC) is being pushed by hardware manufacturers and payment card firms as the next big thing. This involves the consumer having a physical chip embedded in their next handset and thus will have to be rolled out incrementally.
What makes Card.io different is that it is based entirely on software, but claims to offer the same level of speed and convenience as NFC, whether you are carrying out safe shopping online or on the high street.
Most modern mobiles have cameras built into them but only a tiny fraction of the market can offer NFC compatibility at the moment. This could make Card.io a valuable business over the next few years, particularly while NFC is nascent and underdeveloped, according to Wireless Federation.
In the short term, the payment card scanning technology will be compatible only with the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, but success should bring it to other platforms.