Seconds Announces GIVENATION, A Nationwide Challenge For Sandy Relief

Today, Seconds is excited to announce GIVENATION, a nationwide competition during the holiday season challenging you and your state to give whatever you can to help with the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort.

We thought it would be encouraging to establish a friendly competition between states to determine “the most giving state” based on amount of dollars contributed using Seconds during this year’s holiday season.

Seconds is also excited to announce a partnership with International Relief and Development (IRD) on the nationwide campaign to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief.

As families shop for gifts during this holiday season, it is important to remember that our neighbors in New Jersey and New York are still in need. GIVENATION encourages people to give what they can. Even $5 or $10 can help rebuild a home or provide a winter coat or blanket for someone in need. Imagine what millions of Americans can accomplish by giving up one holiday latte and gifting that amount to help others.

The funds collected through this challenge go directly to IRD, a global non-profit that has distributed $3.5 billion toward disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and development programs since 1998. Funds raised for Sandy relief will support IRD’s immediate disaster recovery efforts. IRD is working in association with FEMA, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), and several local organizations to supply water, blankets, winter coats and clothes, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and other items to individuals in New Jersey and New York. This is just the first step toward a long-term recovery and rebuilding plan for the region.

To donate—and represent your state’s support for Sandy relief—go to getseconds.com/givenation, where you can make a donation in any amount you wish. You can also text your donation dollar amount to the phone number (202) 999-3736. For example, texting “5” will instantly send back a link where you can quickly complete a $5 payment using a credit card or bank account.

Seconds will be mapping the competition results in real-time starting November 3 and continuing through December 31. Visit IRD’s Facebook page at facebook.com/irdvoices to download and share the “I Gave” and “Did You Give?” images. And learn more about the GIVENATION campaign at getseconds.com/givenation.

For more information on IRD, visit www.ird.org, and visit the IRD Voices blog to read first-hand accounts from IRD staff in the field.

Full press release below image:

Seconds and IRD Launch GIVENATION, A Holiday Challenge For Sandy Relief

Which state will give the most to help the recovery efforts of Hurricane Sandy?

SEATTLE, WA – November 16th, 2012 – Seconds, the company enabling quick payments using mobile devices, is announcing GIVENATION, a holiday campaign encouraging the nation to get further involved with the Sandy recovery effort.

Hurricane Sandy recently caused billions of dollars in damage, destroying cities and displacing millions of people. People may have already given via The American Red Cross or other relief campaigns but there are still a lot of people who are in need and Seconds believes much more can be done.

Today, Seconds is announcing GIVENATION, a nationwide competition during the holiday season challenging you and your state to give whatever you can to help with the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. “We thought it would be encouraging to establish a friendly competition between states to determine “the most giving state” based on amount of dollars contributed using Seconds during this year’s holiday season,” says Seconds CEO Nick Hughes.

So as people are buying toys, clothes, electronics and other items for family and friends this holiday season, they are urged to not forget about a nation in need. People are encouraged to give what they can – even $5 or $10 – and help rebuild their country. Imagine what millions of Americans can accomplish by simply giving up one holiday latte and gifting that amount to help others in need.

The funds collected go directly to International Relief and Development (IRD.org) a global non- profit which has distributed $3.5 billion towards disaster relief, and will be put towards immediate disaster recovery efforts. IRD is working in association with FEMA to supply water, blankets, winter coats and clothes, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and diapers in addition to other important recovery efforts.

To donate, go to at http://getseconds.com/givenation where you will see the map and a donation box to enter any amount you wish. Mobile users can also simply text a numeric dollar amount to the phone number (202) 999-3736. For example, texting “5” will instantly send back a link to quickly complete a $5 payment using a credit card or bank account via payment partner Dwolla.

“While we hope and pray for the full recovery of those affected by Hurricane Sandy, we are excited to partner with IRD in encouraging the entire nation to give any amount they can during the holiday season to help with the disaster recovery,” says Hughes.

Seconds will be mapping the competition results in real-time starting Nov. 16th and proceeding through Dec 31st, 2012.

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. 

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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.

What Is GIVENATION? Would You Give A #@$%?

What is GIVENATION?

Hurricane Sandy recently caused billions of dollars in damage, destroying cities and displacing millions of people. What if GIVENATION was a holiday challenge to give whatever you can, helping with the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort?

 

What if we established a friendly competition between states to determine “the most giving state” based on amount of dollars contributed during this year’s holiday season?

What if Seconds just partnered with one of the largest global non-profits focusing on disaster relief around the world?

What if, as you are buying toys, clothes, electronics and other items as presents for family and friends this holiday,  you didn’t forget to give a gift to a nation in need?

What if we announce something big this Friday, November 16th 2012?

What if GIVENATION was real?  Would you give?

 

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.

Seconds Was Just Given A HUGE Holiday Gift, And It’s Not Even Halloween Yet!

Christmas is still more than 2 months away, but we are already full of holiday cheer.  We have been chosen to be a part of a large holiday tradition, putting Seconds payments on the national stage and changing the trajectory of our company forever.

What it is?  Can’t tell just yet.  But I can tell you it’s not proving mobile payments at Macy’s.  And it’s definitely not a Starbuck’s payments deal, Square already go that one!  Stay tuned for more details in the next few weeks.

But let’s just say Square can’t do what Seconds is about to do.