Merchants using ZenCart, an open-source shopping cart, now may accept OpenCuro payments under a deal the two companies announced April 17.

OpenCuro Inc.’s service allows users to pay for online purchases or transfer funds to someone else without divulging financial or personal information.

Using any device that can access the Internet, users may sign up for an OpenCuro account on the company’s website for free by providing some basic personal information such as name and email address. The user also provides information pertaining to a funding source, such as credit or debit card data.

When shopping online or transferring funds, the user enters the purchase amount at the OpenCuro site. OpenCuro sends the user an eight-digit code called a CuroCode, which the user enters at checkout. OpenCuro verifies the user’s identity so the merchants don’t have to and sends the merchant payment immediately, Christy Matson, OpenCuro co-founder, tells PaymentsSource.

Merchants may download the OpenCuro module from either the ZenCart website or OpenCuro website. The installation, configuration and testing takes just minutes, according to an April 17 OpenCuro press release.

The merchant logs in to his OpenCuro account to request server credentials, which are issued in seconds. The server credentials are the information the merchant site needs to create a secure connection to OpenCuro. It then may begin to accept OpenCuro payments.

When a user enters the CuroCode into the merchant's checkout page, the merchant site electronically contacts OpenCuro to verify and deposit the payment. When OpenCuro verifies the amount and code, it immediately credits the merchant’s account. OpenCuro charges the merchant 2% of the transaction amount, Matson says.

OpenCuro charges users a 2% fee to fund an account using a credit or debit card, though that fee is waived during a new account trial period, says Matson. The waiver gives new users the ability to immediately make payments for free using OpenCuro when linked to a bank account instead. Funding an OpenCuro account using a bank funds transfer is always free, Matson says.

The CuroCode code changes for every transaction, says Matson.

“It can never be used again to draw more money from your account; it can never be used again if the website you paid was hacked,” she says. “It’s randomly generated; it has nothing to do with you.”

OpenCuro is developing an Apple Inc. iPhone app so users can get their CuroCode in the form of a QR code for in-person redemption, says Matson.

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