Mobile Payment Revolution

The Social Payment Revolution

In Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, In-Store technology, Social media, The Mobile Customer by Gustavo Jacovazzo

The end of I-O-Us is upon us!

The rise of social media has finally brought payment technologies to the masses, and while some of the most popular mediums have features that can be seen as intrusive, nothing is scaring new users away from the convenience of touch and pay. Here are some companies that are leading the pack when it comes to social payments:


Parent company: Braintree / eBay
Launch: Winter 2012

Perhaps THE app that brought payments to the social media generation, Venmo simplifies payments and invoicing in a way that just didn’t exist before. Venmo risked being too social by implementing a public comment feature for every exchange, but despite it being a massive example of overshare in this day and age, it took off. It seemed to take off even more after a much maligned ad-campaign nearly took over NYC. It just goes to show that the best way to convert a client is having a good product.


Parent company: eBay
Est.: Summer 1998

eBay’s child is still leader of the pack when it comes to e-commerce, online payments, and online exchanges. It has had years and years of lead-time on a lot of the other platforms to embed itself in online culture. With the growing popularity of Venmo, PayPal has started to put more attention into mobile payments, instant payments, and making its app into something that is as easy to use as Lucas’ favorite. Whether PayPal can gain back some ground with the youth that Venmo has started filling remains to be seen, but one wonders if they really mind, being that they share a parent company with Venmo and all.


Parent company: Snapchat
Launch: Fall 2014
Partner company: Square

The newest contender on our list from a very unexpected entrant, Snapcash sees the ‘it’ media company of the moment branch out even further from being just a picture and video medium. Friends can send each other cash simply by typing in an amount. Snapcash seems to be only one of many developments coming out of the Snapchat world in a short time (Stories, Discover, branded snaps) so it remains to be seen if it takes off or if its lost in the mix of the new features. Either way, it ought to be applauded for beating out obvious contenders like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to launching its own payment platform.

Square Cash

Parent company: Square Inc.
Launch: Fall 2013

The lionshare of Square’s popularity has come from its small business platforms. Small retailers everywhere immediately dropped their bulky registers and swipe machines to pick up a simple iPad and Square card readers (which they provide free to new customers). Their attempt to branch out to consumers has been effective, but its not become as popular as other mediums. Maybe it’s the fact you still have to email payments. Maybe it’s the fact they don’t yet support credit card payments. While they keep updating and attempt to get the balance right, Square’s technology is helping to fuel other mediums as well, for example, SnapCash’s system is based off of Square technologies.

Google Wallet

Parent company: Google
Launch: Fall 2011

There was a point on the internet where everywhere you went you would get a promo if you paid with Google Wallet. Do you remember? If not perhaps you clicked out every time, opting to just pay the old fashioned way (tech-fatigue can happen to the best of us). Years on however, Google Wallet grown up to the times. While it already has email transfer capabilities via Gmail, it has started pioneering tap and pay technologies before Apple’s launch of Apple Pay. It has also partnered with Mastercard on  a feature called the Wallet Card which is a physical debit card that charges directly from your Wallet account. With it’s track record of innovation and successful products, Google is certain to be one of the leaders as social payments continue to take over the world.

Apple Pay

Parent company: Apple
Launch: Fall 2015

Apple Pay is young and has some work to do convincing retailers to adopt their platform, but once that mission is accomplished, it’s hard to imagine that a company that rules the phone world won’t get in the social payments game when a good amount of hardware competitors have been developing touch and pay technologies. Apple’s rational next move would involve expanding Apple Pay so it is as much for the social sphere than to the big retailers.

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