Mobile wallet provider Lemon Inc. has begun providing the payment function that had been missing from its mobile wallet.
Lemon, which disclosed in a June interview its plan to add payments to its app, has named the new function Lemon Network, a name that reflects the network of merchants supporting its mobile payments initiative.
Lemon now allows purchases to be made in merchant apps by accessing payment cards that have been enrolled in the Lemon Wallet. Lemon will provide a free software development kit to allow merchants to integrate with Lemon.
Through Lemon Network, "a 'Pay with Lemon' button will appear on the merchant checkout screen, which will render the drop-down list of stored cards [in the Lemon Wallet]," says Jenna Wyer, Lemon's chief sales officer.
Lemon sends the payment information directly to the merchant or, if the merchant is attempting to reduce Payment Card Industry security standards scope, the payment processor, Wyer says.
"We aren't the payment processor, but rather a platform-agnostic credit card vault," says Wyer, who left Braintree Inc. to join Lemon last month.
A non-Lemon Wallet user who is on the merchant site can click the same payment button and then "fill out a few boxes" to pay, Wyer adds. "It's much shorter than filling out a long registration or payment form," Wyer says.
Because Lemon Network relies on links within merchant apps, its "success will depend on who participates," says Jeffrey Green, director of emerging technologies advisory services for Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group.
Merchants can participate for free, Wyer says. Lemon's support of their existing processors is meant to reduce friction, she says.
"It takes a merchant 15 minutes to drop in our SDK [software development kit] into their current checkout flow, so the investment of time and resources is limited," Wyer says.
Lemon Network sets the stage for the company to potentially share transaction data with Lemon merchants in the future, Green says.
Until recently, Lemon Wallet served primarily to store receipts and scanned images of credit and debit cards. Ultimately, Lemon is trying to mirror what consumers have in their leather wallets, and the company wants to make "paying from that wallet a viable function," Green says.
Of the other mobile payment methods in use today, Lemon Network most closely resembles Braintree's Venmo Touch system, which Chicago-based Braintree unveiled in February. Consumers using Venmo Touch can make one-click payments from mobile devices through the apps of more than 4,000 Braintree online merchants.
Lemon currently supports more than 3 million wallet users and is growing at a rate of more than 1,000 new cards per hour, Wyer says. She did not disclose the current number of Lemon merchants.