ScanPay's card-scanning technology, which allows consumers to enter their card credentials by scanning the card with a phone's camera, was designed to reduce cart abandonment at mobile shopping sites.
"Mobile devices are not just little computers but can be used as new tools to change how the consumer buys things," says Kevin Guieu, co-founder and chief operating officer at ScanPay.
The French company was founded about a year ago after co-founder Sven Lung, a merchant himself, saw shopping cart abandonment rise on the mobile app for his fashion marketplace, BrandAlley.com.
"We're originally merchants so we know what it is to be one and what is needed in this sector," Guieu says.
ScanPay's technology integrates directly into merchant's mobile app. Shoppers hold their cards in front of their smartphone cameras and ScanPay's software takes a few seconds of video of the card to initiate the payment. The credit card number and expiration date is automatically filled into the checkout form. ScanPay works on both iOS and Android phones.
"Everyone wants to facilitate the checkout and enrollment process but credit card information is the most difficult thing" to type in "because mobile apps lack ergonomics," he says.
ScanPay's system works entirely on the end user's phone, says Guieu, so no data or pictures are transmitted over the air.
With card-scanning technology, the user experience is streamlined and simplified, Guieu says. The more complicated a system is the more dropouts there are, he adds.
A phone's camera is increasingly used as part of a payments system. PayPal's Card.io turns consumer's smartphone cameras into card readers. And Jumio Inc. offers card-scanning services for payments and personal identification to companies including Verifi and Travelocity.
ScanPay launched its software development kit in France in March. The company charges 15 cents per scan, but new customers receive a 20 euro credit when downloading.
Several mobile apps currently use ScanPay's service, including Hicab, an Uber-like service in Paris for mopeds, and the Lydia mobile wallet. ScanPay is in talks with a big French merchant as well, but Guieu would not disclose the merchant's name.
Several large companies in the U.S. have reached out to ScanPay as well, Guieu says.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the Lydia mobile wallet.