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PayPal creator seeks to enhance m-commerce payment experience

06 March 2013 - 09:08 by Simon Crisp

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Max Levchin, who is one of the founders of online payment service, PayPal, has launched a new company that aims to improve the shopping experience for those who use mobile devices.

The company is called Affirm and it not only looks to streamline the process of paying for items via safe shopping online, which is good news for consumers, but also wants to help e-commerce retailers by lowering the number of abandoned baskets.

To achieve this, it wants to simplify the checkout process so that smartphone customers can quickly purchase a product after just a couple of onscreen interactions.

Authentication through Affirm will be provided via Facebook, which seems sensible, given the billion strong global user base for this social network.

AllThingsD reports that Affirm will take a small fee from each transaction it processes, although this will presumably come from the merchant's side, as it does with most standard card payments.

Interestingly, the cash will not immediately be taken from users when making a transaction via safe shopping online. Instead, they will have a 30 day period during which they must pay off the balance of the invoice.

Levchin equates this to the creation of a digital tab, as you might set up at a bar. Merchants are guaranteed payment and customers can breeze through the checkout process with minimal hassle.

Affirm will use the equivalent of credit checks to make sure that its users are able to cover the cost of the items they buy, so there should, hopefully, be as few issues as possible, once it goes live.

M-commerce payments are quickly becoming a popular mainstream alternative to traditional means of carrying out transactions, so if Affirm becomes a success, it could be entering into a lucrative market place.