Kuapay has finished a design upgrade and enhancement to its mobile wallet that borrows from the past—consumers see actual images of cards and coupons when looking at the screen

The Santa Monica-based Kuapay, which is active in markets such as Spain and Chile, is launching a new user interface in the U.S. today.

"Your mobile wallet looks like an actual wallet," says Joaquin Ayuso de Paul, founder and CEO of Kuapay. "The cards are not a table of rows of numbers on a screen. It looks like the items that you would actually have in your wallet."

The Kuapay wallet allows users to add payment cards, as well as store loyalty cards and other items such as gym memberships or library cards. These cards can be accessed with iPhone, Android or Blackberry handsets.

To compete with the crowded market of mobile wallet providers that are already active in the U.S., the Kuapay wallet also includes transaction information that allows users to track purchases and balances on the different cards that are stored on the wallet.

This makes Kuapay function somewhat like personal financial management apps such as Mint, Geezeo and Check (formerly PageOnce), enabling the user to apply some budgeting knowledge before making a payment.

"We aggregate receipts on the wallet so you can access different cards as you pay," Ayuso de Paul says. "The user can view all transactions and the details of each transaction."

Granular historical spending information is rare for mobile wallets, and could prove useful, says Andy Schmidt, research director at CEB TowerGroup.

"Anytime you can add PFM-type elements to a spending app, that can help consumers make smarter decisions, and can result in fewer overdrafts," says Andy Schmidt, a research director at CEB TowerGroup. "What this would also mean is a hit for overdraft fee revenue for the institutions that the wallet is tied to."

The visual representation of transaction history is also lacking in most mobile wallets, Schmidt says.

"You may be able to see the couple of transactions and amounts, but not in a way that tells you what you spent the money on in detail," he says.

Kuapay manages most of its own technology internally via its own hardware—it does not use a cloud provider to store data or delver other technology. It stores data in local centers, or nodes, located around the U.S. and in other markets such as Europe, China and Chile.

The geographic diversity is designed to enable fast response. Latency typically occurs as data moves between far-flung consumers, issuers and processors.

"By using nodes, a consumer's information is stored in that person's area or country and doesn't leave that country," Ayuso de Paul says.

The local tech centers also aid in location-based marketing, a feature that would enable Kuapay to compete with companies such as Foursquare. Kuapay's loyalty and rewards component also uses geolocation to match the user's location to nearby merchants that provide discounts or special offers. It can also track the real-time addresses of smaller vendors whose location changes regularly.

"You can spot where a local food truck is right now, for example," Ayuso de Paul says. 

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry