Thursday, September 5, 2013

App offers instant and easy small payment gift requests

Regular readers of Springwise may remember Jifiti, the app that lets consumers scan a barcode with their smartphone to gift the item to a friend. Now Ok’d enables anyone to take a photograph of a product and instantly receive money from a friend or relative to pay for it. Young people and those with low income – especially students – often find themselves in a situation where they need to ask for money from their parents or someone else they know, but account transfers can take days to process and in that time the item they wanted may have sold out. Ok’d, the first app from San Francisco-based startup Paidpiper, enables users to simply take a photograph of the product they want to buy and it automatically determines what it is and how much it costs. This information is then sent to a contact, who can review the request, chat with the requester and instantly agree to cover the cost through the app. Rather than actually transferring money, the app generates a one-time use gift voucher for the exact price of the item, to be used at the store the request was sent from. Retailers simply fill out the credit card number on the digital OK’d card or scan the barcode to accept the payment. The app, which is available to download on the App Store, could have multiple uses – for collecting money from multiple contacts to pay for a gift, for example, or to allow businesses to make small payments to employees rather than filling out expenses. With digital wallets growing in popularity, are there other options for densing money digitally?

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