Mobile payments and digital currencies have vast potential to improve consumer spending as a wide range of technology and digital products are introduced into the market. With new & improved technology and products introduced to consumers recently NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) continue to be the biggest players in the digital payments sector.
NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD), a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart wallet, announces that it has filed provisional patent 62/198989 for ELECTRONIC CRYPTO-CURRENCY MANAGEMENT METHOD AND SYSTEM. This invention highlights a method to advance crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin into the consumer market of payment technology by introducing a common, uniform way to manage all payments.
The technology manages multiple traditional financial accounts and crypto-currency accounts, like Bitcoin, including initiating transfers, currency exchanges, submitting payments, and receiving payments. Under this method, a local, abbreviated block chain is intelligently synchronized for transactions and balance validation to enable both online purchases as well as brick and mortar retail store transactions from a local smart wallet device. This abbreviated block chain allows for validated crypto-currency purchases to be made in store, just like transactions from other traditional financial accounts such as credit or debit cards.
NXT-ID looks to usher Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies into the mainstream payments industry and Wocket® is the beginning of that push for consumer friendly crypto-wallets. “What’s unique about this patent is that it introduces what we believe is the first payment experience that makes crypto-currency uniform across all payment transactions and payment methods, which is a chief inhibitor to wide scale acceptance of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, ” adds Mr. Tunnell.
“With this technology, a common smart wallet platform can be used by an individual to manage not only all of their conventional financial accounts (e.g. debit cards, check cards, credit cards, etc.), loyalty cards, membership cards and the like, but also provide for the secure management of a multiple alternative currency accounts, thereby facilitating the real-time use of one or more crypto-currencies as a method of payment, receiving crypto-currency payments, and crypto-currency exchange. This technology also enables Bitcoin to be used across multiple payment mediums including magnetic stripe, NFC, and other emerging payment methods.”
In other digital payments and mobile payment news & happenings: Customers who want to use their smartphone to make purchases will soon have an alternative to Apple Pay (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Wallet (NASDAQ: GOOG). The Merchant Customer Exchange — an organization founded by Walmart, Target and Best Buy — will its their app, called CurrentC, in August. CurrentC will enter a market already dominated by Apple Pay and Google Wallet. According to the Merchant Customer Exchange, the new app will be accepted at 110,000 retail locations across the U.S. The thrust of CurrentC is that it will give retailers a way to stop paying fees to credit card companies, Bloomberg Business reported.
PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) may be the biggest player in the digital payments space, but a new partnership in the industry shows it is certainly not the favorite of the big credit card networks. Digital payments startup Stripe recently announced that it had raised a new round of funding from investors such as Visa (NYSE: V) and American Express (NYSE: AXP) valuing the company at $5 billion. On top of that funding, Stripe said it will be partnering with Visa to further improve payments.