Seconds Is The Fastest Mobile Payment Method Involving Dwolla Or A Credit Card

As the name suggests, Seconds is the fastest way to make a mobile payment using either Dwolla (digital cash from bank account) or a credit card.

If you are familiar with Seconds you may already know you a transaction can be completed by simply texting the merchant phone number with a keyword (that they previously set up) or any dollar amount value you wish.  With an account already created and payment credential already in place, the transaction instantly takes place securely in the cloud and you are done!

No text boxes to mess with, pinching and zooming or other hassles.

It’s that easy.  Watch this video to see just how easy Seconds payments are…

If you are walking through the mobile web experience for the first time with no previous Seconds account, you will see below we’ve made it a piece of cake to complete.

Click here if you are interested in accepting payments in Seconds >

Go to getseconds.com

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Find the merchant.

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Input the amount.

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Complete payment with Dwolla.

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Or complete payment with credit card.

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It’s that easy.

Click here if you are interested in accepting payments in Seconds >

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Seconds Partners With Dwolla For Awesome New Guest Checkout Announcement

Seconds is happy to announce our partnership with Dwolla for their latest product release, referred to as guest checkout, allowing anyone to use Dwolla to make a one-time payment from their financial institution to an online merchant or marketplace.

Why is this so awesome?  Now people can make Dwolla payments, in Seconds.

Simply put, Dwolla is great.  For months we have been evaluating how to include Dwolla payments in our mobile payment experience.  Their online and mobile payment network enables friends, families, and businesses to move money in a way that is safer, faster, and significantly more affordable than traditional payment options.  We always believed in Dwolla’s mission to rid the world of credit card fees and today we are excited to finally turn on the Dwolla payment option.

With Dwolla, you simply connect a bank account so you can make payments through the system.  The challenge up to this point was the fact that unless someone already had a Dwolla account created, it was nearly impossible for them to create a Dwolla account and make a quick payment during their first Seconds experience.   Unfortunately, there were a number of steps – some even taking a few business days – to authorize the financial institution and finalization of the Dwolla account.  It was basically a non-starter for our emerging payment platform.

As you can see, this new release leaves all that behind and puts Dwolla center stage in the Seconds payment experience, allowing someone the choice of quickly paying with their bank account using Dwolla in addition to a credit card.

Why is this so great?  Merchants accepting Dwolla are charged at most $.25 per transactions over $10, and transactions under $10 carry no Dwolla transaction fee at all!  Comparing this to the traditional 3% processing fee when dealing with credit cards and your looking at significant savings for merchants with each transaction.

We believe Dwolla has an incredible future and are excited to see where this will lead.  More information about the Dwolla announcement is below.

Try it out now with GIVENATION, and give to IRD.org to help with Hurricane Sandy recovery.

What is Dwolla?

Dwolla is an online and mobile payment network that enables friends, families, and businesses to move money in a way that is safer, faster, and significantly more affordable than traditional payment options.

Using the Internet, Dwolla has designed a smarter way to structure payments and identify fraud. This allows the system to bypass credit cards, PayPal, and other payment types and, at the same time, offer the nation’s lowest cost payment network.

Since 2010, the Des Moines-based company has processed millions of transactions, becoming the nation’s newest and fastest growing payment network.

Pay as a guest:

Now, with Dwolla’s new guest checkout option, anyone can use Dwolla to make a one-time payment from their financial institution to an online merchant or marketplace.

Guest checkout adds Dwolla’s payment engine to traditional bank-issued transactions, allowing the same level of security, safety, and innovation regular Dwolla users enjoy.

Benefits of guest checkout

For consumers:
  • No need for a pre-existing Dwolla account
  • Free to pay: no hidden fees or costs
  • Cardless and checkless
  • Safer than writing checks
  • Safe and secure Dwolla network technologies
  • Save money with Dwolla price (with participating merchants)
  • Privacy conscious (we do not sell your data!
For merchants:
  • Increased profit margins and savings over credit cards (flat 25 cent fee for transactions over $10, under $10 is free)
  • Easily add Dwolla as another payment method
  • Fluid offsite checkout experience
  • Automatic PCI compliance


Using Guest Checkout vs. paying as a traditional Dwolla user

Paying as a guest (for those without Dwolla a account):
  • Free to pay: no hidden fees or costs to use
  • Safer than writing checks
  • Cardless and checkless
  • Safe and secure Dwolla network technologies
  • Save money with Dwolla price (see below)
  • Privacy conscious (we do not sell your data!)

Users with Dwolla account (“Paying as a guest” plus the following): 

  • Pay your friends and family through your social networks
  • Lowest-cost (25 cents for payments over $10, free for transactions under $10)
  • Faster payments and clearing dates
  • Suite of features and tools
  • Connect a bank account for simple depositing and withdrawing
  • Use your phone to pay merchants and friends
  • Minimum balance keeps your account full
  • “Plug-and-pay” with numerous web third-party applications

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Does the merchant ever see my banking information

No. Aside from the fact that you’ve paid, Dwolla does not disclose or include sensitive financial information inside of transactions.

2. Is Dwolla safe?

All information is securely passed, encrypted, and stored in ways that meet or exceed industry standards. Dwolla does not sell your data or transactions with corporations or private parties. For more information, visit security and partnership.

3. Can I cancel my payment?

Yes, but the canceled payment must a.) be initiated by the merchant and b.) occur before the payment is processed.

4. How do Refunds and Disputes occur?

Dwolla defers to the refund policy of its merchants, but will assist in the dispute process whenever necessary. Learn more about Dwolla’s dispute process.

5. Why isn’t my total cheaper when I use Dwolla?

Not all merchants have opted to offer the Dwolla price discount. Dwolla believes it’s up to the merchants to decide what’s best for their business.

 

A Mobile First Mentality

Fred Wilson has written extensively on designing for mobile first, desktop second.  I couldn’t agree more and that is exactly what we are doing at Seconds.

When looking at our initial user interface design of both the mobile view and the web view, one will see quite a few similarities.  This is not by accident, this is because we start with the mobile view first.  We first ask ourselves which mode most people will use our service, mobile or desktop? Given the fact Seconds is a payments platform oriented around mobile devices, mobile takes highest priority.

Also, the fact that more smartphones are shipping than feature phones and the estimation by 2017 is the majority of web traffic will come from mobile, we feel designing for mobile first is a safe bet.

Finally, it’s such a pain to view a website on a mobile device only to have to pinch and zoom to even read the content and click the desired button.  We feel it’s better to design for the smallest screen and allow the larger screens to pull the content/visuals out.  It’s the reverse perspective of the pinch and zoom experience you mostly see today.

So, if take a look at our desktop web presence you will see pretty much the same information and visuals, just aligned slightly differently since there’s quite a bit more real estate.

How did we do this?  Did we use a different service to create a “mobile optimized website” to augment our desktop website?  One with drop down menus and a very different look and feel to it?  Nope.  I don’t believe this is the right approach.   Unfortunately, farming out your mobile experience to a third party white-labeled service removes your branding and familiarity of your product.   (For example, view this blog article on a mobile device vs the web and you will see what I mean.)  You can refer to this mentality as desktop first, mobile second because you are not allowing the mobile device constraints drive overall user interface design.

Without sounding too redundant, why would you focus on desktop first when as a society we are clearly spending more and more time on mobile devices?

So how do we go about it?  As stated above, we have a mobile first mentality.  We design all Seconds experiences mobile first and then scale up to desktop.  You can see this in play when you access Seconds on a desktop browser.  (Try resizing your browser and shrink the width of the page.  It’s responsive.)  If anything, one might initially feel there is something lacking in the desktop view.  You might think maybe there’s not enough imagery or things to look at… yet is that really the reason to go to Seconds?

You know what, we don’t care.  We know people aren’t coming to Seconds to view pictures, to browse friends’ profiles or to see anything else.  What we care about is that the primary functions of the system, which is to complete a transaction as quickly as possible.  This is paramount.  We measure user experience in mere clicks and finger swipes and most times the more visually stimulating the design, the more clicks/swipes to complete the desired experience.  Those extra steps, in the end, often result in a lost transaction.  Just ask PayPal.

Our mobile first mentality allows the design and UI constraints of the smaller mobile screen to aide us in development of Seconds.  Why?  They help us sift out all the unnecessary and focus on the essentials.

Brevity is always refreshing.  Clean and clear is more compelling than busy and confusing.  Adding things when it seems right is always easier than trying to determine what to remove from the 100 options that could be the problem.

Seconds Was Just Chosen For Another Nationwide Mobile Donation Campaign

We will be announcing the partnership with a global non-profit and the roll out of a national campaign for donations towards a recent disaster to our county.  More to come….

In the meantime, try Seconds out and give to the Capitol Christmas tree to support forest restoration.

The Future of Commerce Will Combine Your Social Network and Mobile Device

Below is from my latest posts published on PayPal’s DevZone, titled The Future of Commerce Will Combine Your Social Network and Mobile Device.

Each day we hear growing speculation about the so-called mobile commerce revolution that’s just starting to take shape. Some think NFC payments will be the next big thing in retail. Others believe text-based payments will open up the mobile payment experience for the billions of mobile device holders around the world. And thousands of new apps are created each year with a new twist on using your mobile device to pay for everyday things.

To some extent, these concepts and more will shape the future of mobile commerce. However, pundits are forgetting what might happen if you combine the most commonly used platforms in the world—mobile devices and social networks—and infuse quick payment technology within them.

If Those Two Powerful Phenomena Merge, Will We Discover a New Payments Utopia?

It seems as if we’ve been in the stone age of social commerce for years now. Facebook has been around for almost a decade, and before that we had Friendster and Myspace. From my perspective, most don’t realize how close we actually are to merging social and commercial actions. How many times have you read a Facebook update from a friend, for instance, saying something like “I just saw ____ and it was the best movie I’ve ever seen.” Or what about the posts that show off a new car or recently purchased clothing? Those posts, in a small way, are the beginnings of social commerce. By sharing things such as a new purchase or a cool new movie, you are influencing your friends’ commercial interests. Today, people are partaking in social commerce without actually knowing it.

The question is, what will happen when they know they are doing it and they help you make a similar purchase? And more interestingly, what happens when it originates from a mobile device?

Read the rest here.

Seconds Chosen To Provide Mobile Donations For U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

We are pleased to announce Seconds has been chosen to power mobile payments for the 2012 U.S. Capitol Building Christmas Tree.  Yes, the one that travels across the country on a truck and is put on display in front of the capitol building in Washington D.C.  That one.

This past spring, wildfires burned more then 100,000 acres of land and more than 600 homes near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to destroying homes, these fires severely damaged critical watershed areas that supply water for the cities of Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. They also damaged critical habitat for wildlife and fish in the region.

Seconds was sought out by a Colorado non-profit called ChooseOutdoors and the National Forest Service looking for a dynamic mobile/text payment system to help raise money for restoration of the thousands of acres destroyed in the fires.  They were very clear they wanted it to be as smooth and quick as possible to complete since people will be standing outside during festivities and if wanting to make a donation, they should be able to with a mobile device.

I told them “No problem.  Heres how it works: People simply text a numerical dollar amount to the phone number. For example, texting “5” will instantly send back a link to quickly complete a $5 payment using a credit card or bank account. Payments can also be made on the desktop or mobile web by visiting getseconds.com and searching for the tree.”

That’s it.

You can learn more about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree here.  From the press release (full press release below):

People are encouraged to give what they can – even $5 or $10 – to help restore their country, whose deteriorating forest conditions place America at a growing risk of forest fires. “Our team wondered how many dollars can we, as a nation, raise to help restore the forests during the holidays,” said Nick Hughes, CEO of Seconds. So the goal became to raise at least $25,000 for restoration of the very forests many of us make our back yards. “All money raised will go to supporting work crews and acquiring materials needed to replant riparian vegetation, stabilize stream banks and re-plant trees lost in the fires,” said Jeff Olson, president of Choose Outdoors.

Please take a moment out of your busy day and give to the tree.

Seconds Powers Mobile Donations For U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Campaign

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree now represents much more than an old holiday tradition

SEATTLE, WA – November 1st, 2012 – Seconds, the company enabling quick payments using mobile devices, is announcing their have been chosen as the payments provider for a holiday donation campaign associated with the Christmas Tree standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building.

This past spring, wildfires burned more then 100,000 acres of land and more than 600 homes near Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to destroying homes, these fires severely damaged critical watershed areas that supply water for the cities of Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. They also damaged critical habitat for wildlife and fish in the region.

Seconds is announcing today they have been selected to help ChooseOutdoors.org and the U.S. Forest Service with the Colorado Forest Fire Restoration Challenge Fund, in association with the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree project. The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will be cut from Meeker, Colorado and driven across the country starting November 6th, touring more than 30 cities before being decorated and put on display for the holidays in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington DC.

People are encouraged to give what they can – even $5 or $10 – to help restore their country, whose deteriorating forest conditions place America at a growing risk of forest fires. “Our team wondered how many dollars can we, as a nation, raise to help restore the forests during the holidays,” said Nick Hughes, CEO of Seconds. So the goal became to raise at least $25,000 for restoration of the very forests many of us make our back yards. “All money raised will go to supporting work crews and acquiring materials needed to replant riparian vegetation, stabilize stream banks and re-plant trees lost in the fires,” said Jeff Olson, president of Choose Outdoors.

To donate, simply text a numerical dollar amount to the phone number 303-502-5858. For example, texting “5” will instantly send back a link to quickly complete a $5 payment using a credit card or bank account. Payments can also be made on the desktop or mobile web by visiting getseconds.com and searching for the tree.

“It’s an honor to be chosen by the U.S. Forest Service and ChooseOutdoors.org as the payments platform for this special event. Our goal is to encourage people to give any amount they can during the holiday season to help improve the health of our land”, says Hughes. All participants from the winning state will be placed in a drawing for two tickets to next year’s tree lighting ceremony in Washington D.C.

Give up a latte, gain a forest. Our nation’s forests are in critical condition and need our help to restore their health. Imagine what Americans can accomplish by simply giving up one holiday latte and gifting that $5 to the forest. Funding for restoration and public education are just a few of the ways we can decrease the chances of devastating fires – saving homes, neighborhoods and possibly lives. “We are thrilled that a Colorado forest is providing a gift to the nation and hope that it will assist in educating the country about forest health and restoration” said Jerri Marr, supervisor of the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

For additional information on how to support or help with efforts, contact Jeff Olson at jeff.chooseoutdoors@gmail.com or Nick Hughes, CEO of Seconds at nick@getseconds.com.

About Seconds

Seconds enables any device holder to send or accept payments, whether through the web, mobile web or a quick text message. They believe the payment experience should be as quick, simple and intuitive as sending a text message. Founded during the fall of 2011 in Seattle, the original idea was to enhance mobile ordering and commerce for small local businesses. After pilot tests proved both merchants and customers just want the payment experience to be completed as fast and easy as possible, they decided to only focus on the mobile payment experience. They have a vision of any individual being able to interact and transact with any merchant in the world, holding any device they wish. Currently they hold office space in the recently opened SURF Incubator in downtown Seattle.

The Future of Mobile Payments Will Be ‘Artificial Intelligence’

This is a section taken from a recent article I wrote on PayPal’s x.com network.  

How we interact with computers—and to an extent the rest of the world—is changing. As you know, we no longer log on or are required to go to a computer to get online. We now carry computers with us all day, every day; we are always connected.

We do not have to reidentify ourselves and re-enter our credentials each time we go online. And with the inception of Siri, along with other crude artificial intelligence (AI) interfaces, it is now apparent that we will leverage new blends of AI and intelligent data systems integrated within our mobile devices to create very personal consumer experiences.

These technologies and more will drastically change our purchasing experiences. I see a future where the specific mobile device you carry doesn’t have any bearing on how you make a mobile payment. Take simple text, for example. It is fair to say that text messaging has taken over as the most common form of digital communication on the planet, with 6 billion capable devices and more than 8 trillion messages sent in 2011.

But what if SMS and messaging technologies were not only created for basic communications, but for commerce as well? Imagine being able to say things like “send a message to the coffee shop telling them I will be there in 10 minutes and I will have the usual,” and by the time you get there, your correct drink is sitting on the counter, already paid for.

This is not too far off. Actually, the technical requirements are manageable, and the right pieces just need to be put in the right places. The next few years will bring a fundamental shift in the economy as merchants and business adopt this popular method of communication and use it as a new form of commerce. It is already being accomplished through simple text, voice, and gestures, thanks to natural language processing within your mobile device.

Personalization will also become prevalent and is another key component in the future of payments. Today, most merchants still require voice calls to communicate with them; when it comes time to transact, the customer must actually be present with cash or credit card in hand. Think about how far brick-and-mortar retailers need to go to catch up with the e-commerce world. Even today, when I call a local merchant I’m asked to identify myself and to read my payment information (aloud) if I want to make a purchase.

How secure is that?

Interestingly, this lack of personalization does not change when I am present. As I walk in the door, the merchant has no idea who I am, how many times I have visited that location and what my purchase history there might look like. In a word, these retailers are ignorant. They lack the necessary and vital information to not only improve their operations but also make my customer experience much, much better. And why do I still need to stand in a line for them to swipe my card and write my signature before I leave?

A whole new world of possibilities opens up when personalized connections between customer and merchant are made available through mobile technologies and artificial intelligence.  Customers will be able to quickly find and interact with a merchant, requesting more information or making purchases when and where they feel most compelled. Since identification and payment credentials will have already been verified and stored securely in the cloud, transactions then become frictionless.  Merchants are not only afforded a more efficient method of communications and transactions, but also a unique perspective on each customer and a clearer picture of their entire customer base—in real time.

Visit x.com/devzone to read the whole article.