Undeterred by Blippy’s embarrassing public exposure of certain customers’ credit card data, Swipely, another social-networking site broadcasting users’ credit and debit card purchases, on May 11 made its debut. But Swipely hopes to differentiate itself with a few new twists and promises of more-robust security.
The service is now in test mode and will be available to U.S. consumers this summer, the company says.
Blippy, which drew 125,000 users after its launch last fall, generated negative buzz last month when a security glitch briefly exposed certain customers’ raw transaction data (see story).
Providence, R.I.-based Swipely will invite users to register their credit and debit cards with its secure platform, at no cost, so it may track their purchases at the point of sale. The site then will automatically announce users’ purchases, integrating the information into Facebook and other social-networking sites users choose, enabling users to discuss and review their purchases with other users of the social-network sites.
Swipely says it will remove users’ actual account numbers and other sensitive card data, revealing only the location where a customer made a purchase. Unlike Blippy, Swipely will not specify the amount. Users may add details, such as the exact product purchased and photos of it, the amount spent and their opinions of it. Users also may opt to import details about their online purchases, and they will have “complete control” over which purchases they opt to broadcast.
Swipely does not have access to users’ payment cards for enabling transactions or moving funds, a company spokesperson tells PaymentsSource. Swipely protects cardholders’ sensitive data with “bank-grade encryption,” and its system has “passed reviews and audits from leading third-party security and privacy organizations,” she adds.
Angus Davis founded Swipely last year and serves as CEO of the Providence, R.I.-based company. The enterprise is backed by $7.5 million in funding led by Index Ventures, with participants Greylock Partners and First Round Capital, among others.
“We believe that the convergence of payments and social media is the natural next step in the evolution of the Web,” Danny Rimer, Index Ventures’ general partner, said in a statement.
Swipely’s mission is to “fundamentally change the way consumer shop and share by adding value to every swipe,” Davis said in a statement. “Our service will transform everyday purchases at restaurants, movies or online retailers into conversations with friends, personalized recommendations and opportunities to save money.”
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