Braintree Inc. had a vision of a “one-click” mobile shopping experience last summer when it purchased Venmo Inc. and its mobile payment applications.
Braintree at last revealed its “one-click” Venmo Touch system Jan. 31. The technology allows consumers to enter payment information only once to be able to use it with any properly configured apps offered by Braintree's more than 4,000 online merchant clients.
“Filling out forms and entering payment information on a mobile device is a real hassle for users,” Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree, states in a press release. “Each time a user downloads a new app, the user needs to re-enter payment information, creating frustration for users and a huge obstacle in the user sign-up process for apps.”
When entering payment data on a Braintree app, a customer is prompted to save the card with Venmo. After that, the user simply enters the credit card security code when entering a new app and making a payment.
Braintree links the customer’s credentials to the specific mobile device and stores the data in the cloud, the company states.
Braintree purchased New York-based Venmo for $26.2 million in August. While Braintree says it has 35 million customers on its network, it plans to start the Venmo Touch launch with limited testing on a few apps, including HotelTonight, TaskRabbit and Wrapp. Braintree plans to add applications throughout the next several months.
Industry analysts say Venmo Touch will bolster Braintree’s status in mobile payments because the young company already has a solid base of online merchants and has nearly 40 million payment cards on file.
“This makes a heck of a lot of sense, and there is a tremendous amount of transaction drop-off from consumers using mobile devices because it is so difficult to enter card information,” says Richard Oglesby, senior analyst and mobile pay expert with Boston-based Aite Group.
Braintree had already done well in the mobile payment space by having one-click payment for consumers shopping on the mobile Web, and Venmo Touch expands it to potentially thousands of merchants, Oglesby says.
Because the Venmo Touch offering emphasizes consumer ease in mobile payments, it represents “a natural product of mobile payments being the real deal in 2013," says Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group, LLC.
Consumers have a “strong resistance” to entering a lot of keystrokes on a mobile device, Ablowitz says.
“The key for Braintree now will be how evident the benefits of Venom Touch will be to the consumer and how trustworthy they perceive it,” Ablowitz says. “The consumer will want to understand how their data is protected.”
Braintree says it processes $6.5 billion in payment volume, with nearly $2 billion coming from mobile devices.
It is not a stretch to think Braintree will eventually position itself with larger players in the single-click payment space such as PayPal and Amazon, Oglesby says. “Braintree is a younger company with a lot of cards on file, and that’s pretty powerful,” he says.
After a two-year testing period, Venmo in March of 2012 introduced its person-to-person payment application for Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Inc. Android handsets.
In a similar approach to the single-click payment feature, Israeli mobile pay provider Zooz provides technology supports mobile payments from a card or PayPal account by tying the user's account to a specific device. Zooz provides software kits to developers on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and the cross-platform HTML5 language.