PayDragon wants to simplify some of the hassles of collecting payments for time-pressed food-truck vendors and other small merchants.

The Los Angeles-based firm, a unit of mobile marketer Paperlinks, touts a speedy technology enabling consumers to securely order and pay for food with credit and debit cards via email, eliminating steps for merchants.

 Establishing a system in which busy merchants need only an e-mail account in order to accept mobile payments was a key to building interest in the product, Hamilton Chan, PayDragon CEO, tells PaymentsSource.

 PayDragon completed several months of testing, including a test at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, before making the software officially available to consumers and merchants on April 12.

To use PayDragon, the consumer downloads the free application to Apple Inc. iPhones or iPads, or Google Inc. Android handsets and devices, and enters his credit or debit card information.

 The PayDragon user can initiate a transaction by scanning a QR code at the restaurant or using the app to browse menu items and prices from a list of restaurants accepting PayDragon. After making a choice, the user hits a “pay” button, inputs an order number and indicates a pick-up time before sending the email order, Chan explains.

The merchant receives the order via email, and then tracks it through the Web-based PayDragon dashboard, Chan explains.

Merchants do not need special software or hardware to participate in PayDragon. “The merchant only needs to inform PayDragon of an interest in participating and then providing photos of menu items and pricing, Chan says.

PayDragon developed its application from other QR code and mobile commerce technologies that Paperlinks had been developing, Chan says.

PayDragon handles all of the payment processing through a third party, routing the payment authorization requests to banks. Chan did not disclose which company handles PayDragon processing.

PayDragon charges merchants a per-transaction fee, but Chan did not provide specific rates. Merchants do not pay any minimum-transaction fees or monthly payments, he added.

“If they don’t sell anything through PayDragon, we don’t get paid,” Chan says. “So we focus a lot on helping the merchants get sales.”


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