Quick, look in your wallet. If you’re anything like the average American, you probably have three or four credit cards (and between $3,000 – $7,000 worth of credit card debt) making your billfold pretty thick and uncomfortable to sit on. Now look at your phone and imagine if you could leave your credit and bank cards at home, but still be able to pay for groceries and other expenditures.
Welcome to the world this week’s Small Business Spotlight, Simplytapp, is trying to build. Simplytapp is a mobile application that connects existing credit, debit, gift, pre-paid, and store cards to your phone. Stores that are equipped with NFC technology. If you’re confused about what NFC technology is, you don’t need to look any further than that brand new credit card you recently got in the mail that you can tap on the reader and it works as if it was swiped. Or, that nifty feature where you can tap your smartphone against someone else’s and transfer information. In this case, however, that technology is used to allow your phone to operate as a conduit for virtual currency. Currently, the app is only available for Android users here.
Co-founder Ted Fifelski shares some more below about developing a mobile payment method:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
Simplytapp gives stores and banks the ability to let people use their mobile devices to pay for groceries, clothing, snacks, etc. inside the store.
What are some industry-specific challenges you faced?
The financial services and payments industry is packed with unique regulations. That was one of the more difficult aspect of operating in that industry.
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
I think understanding have a great product or service is not necessarily a win but it is the business partnerships and relationships that you create and build that really matter.
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
I think the crazy thing about starting Simplytapp is the ongoing random emails and texts from random users all over the world asking me technical questions about how we do what we do.
What made you use crowdSPRING?
I was torn between 99designs and crowdSPRING. But the more I looked at the two crowdsourcing companies I found that crowdSPRING offered a much better value.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
Focus your solution for a niche market.
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
I would have probably spent less time designing a logo and website myself and hired that out.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
I am an optimistic realist. It will take a good amount of energy and sacrifice but Simplytapp will be enabling mobile payment for banks and merchants around the globe before 2018.
Simplytapp’s (formerly My Purchase Gives) call for a small website design received 48 designs.
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