PayNearMe, an alternative payments product that provides a compelling way for the ‘unbanked’ to use cash payments for online goods, is debuting its first mobile integration today. As you may know, the term “unbanked” refers to consumers who don’t have traditional bank accounts or cannot qualify for credit cards. PayNearMe allows people who don’t have or don’t want to use credit or debit cards to purchase products, pay for bills and more with cash at thousands of 7-Eleven stores in the continental U.S.
Here’s how PayNearMe works. With participating partners, e-commerce or merchant sites, consumers can use the PayNearMe option to pay for purchases or debts owed. You simply place your order with PayNearMe and print out the given receipt. You then take that receipt into a 7-Eleven and they scan it and you pay in cash. Once you pay, your order with the retailer or merchant will be fulfilled.
With the new mobile integration, users can choose to pay with their mobile phones instead of printing out a physical receipt. When paying with PayNearMe, users can now click to use their mobile phone. They will receive a link via text or email with a barcode. When this code is scanned at a 7-Eleven store upon payment, the cashier will authorize the transaction and the payment will be completed. No paper receipts necessary.
Already, Greyhound and Progreso Financiero have been using the mobile payments system and have seen increased traction in the PayNearMe product.
As PayNearMe’s CEO Danny Shader explains to me, as more and more consumers are using smartphones, it makes sense to integrate the payments platform onto mobile platforms. And he points to reports that prepaid smartphones are a fast-growing market commonly used by cash consumers and the unbanked.
It makes sense for PayNearMe, which is now growing by 30 percent each month, to start getting into mobile payments. Printed receipts seem to be in the past, and as more and more consumers (including the ‘unbanked’) look to mobile phones as a wallet, PayNearMe could become a more seamless way to pay for goods, bills, and other services.