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7 Odd Origins for Payment Products

(Image: ThinkStock)

Savvy Salesman Savvy Salesman

Not all financial services players wear suits and ties. Ben Milne went from selling speakers online from the worn groove in his couch to creating Dwolla, an online alternative payment provider, in 2008. By the summer of 2011, Dwolla transactions had surpassed $1 million a week.

Insert Coin Insert Coin

PayPal exec Don Kingsborough, who is responsible for bringing PayPal to the point of sale, hasn't always been a payments-industry insider. He earlier ran the video-game company Atari, helped bring the Nintendo Entertainment System to the U.S., and created the Teddy Ruxpin talking teddy bear.

Gaming the System Gaming the System

LevelUp parent SCVNGR wasn't always looking to disrupt payments. The company began as a mobile gaming provider, allowing users to perform simple location-based tasks through their mobile devices and share the results with their peers online.

Bumpy Ride Bumpy Ride

Bump Technologies launched Bump Pay in March as a way to facilitate PayPal payments by tapping mobile phones together. It wasn't always a standalone product Bump Pay's introduction coincides with PayPal's decision to drop Bump from its own app, citing consumers' lack of use.

Magic Trick Magic Trick

Many celebrities are attaching their names to prepaid cards, often for the first time. But OneWest Bank's MAGIC card, endorsed by basketball legend Magic Johnson, is actually the athlete's second shot at payments. In 2004, he endorsed the short-lived MAGICCash card from Bank of America and Celebrity Cards International. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

If BillMyParents seems like an odd name for a prepaid card provider, it might be because the company wasn't always pushing plastic. Its original product was an online payment system for teens. To make a purchase online, teens would have to send an electronic invoice to their parents before any purchase was approved. (Image: ThinkStock)

Big Backer Big Backer

The mobile-pay company Square has long been viewed as an outsider to the payments market, but its growth can be attributed to the support of an insider. As the company was coming under scrutiny over whether it should encrypt swiped card data, it received an investment from Visa.

Many payment products started out as something else, and many payment execs came to the industry from different backgrounds.

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