Humans have always been focused on producing goods and figuring out ways to pay for them. From barters to bytes, the history of payment systems has evolved with civilizations. A few centuries ago, people paid and bartered goods with slabs of meat and baskets of berries. In the digital age, we now have the convenience of virtual payments and a plethora of mobile payment options that allow us the freedom to pay for goods almost anywhere.
In this article, we have picked Top 5 companies that are driving the vehicle of this change to the way we pay.
PayPal is one of the largest Internet payment companies. The company performs payment processing for online vendors, auction sites, and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee. PayPal in 2014 has moved $228 billion in 26 currencies across more than 190 nations.
With PayPal, one needs a bank account or credit card and internet access to pay for good or transfer money.
The only thing that PayPal has yet to figure is how to reach the world since a few countries can not yet use the service.
Coinbase has two main products: an exchange for bitcoin and fiat currency, and an API for developers and merchants to build applications and accept bitcoin payments. The company offers buy/sell trading functionality in 25 countries, while the wallet is available in 190 countries worldwide.
The exchange can be funded through a bank transfer or wire, and trades on the exchange have a maker/taker price model in which traders pay either a 0.25% fee (taker) or nothing (maker) to execute trades.
Coinbase is certainly an innovative idea, but it still has its limitations.
3. Apple Pay
Apple Pay lets mobile devices make payments at contactless points of sale and in iOS apps. It digitizes and replaces the credit or debit card chip and PINor magnetic stripe transaction at point-of-sale terminals. It is similar to contactless payments already used in many countries, with the addition o two-factor authentication. The service lets Apple devices wirelessly communicate with point of sale systems using a near field communication (NFC) antenna, a "dedicated chip that stores encrypted payment information" (known as the Secure Element), and Apple's Touch ID and wallet.
Apple Pay is a great payment tool, but limited to Apple users and is still not accessible in several regions.
2. Western Union
WU is a money transfer leader. It allows people to transfer money for a fee that could be a bit high for some countries. What makes WU be ranked #2 in our ranking is how easy it is to use. One can perform a transfer online in a matter of seconds. People use WU to also pay for services by transferring money to the vendor. Another reason we rank it #2 is its accessibility worldwide.
Western Union has several divisions, with products such as person-to-person money transfer, money orders, business payments and commercial services.
We rank Boloro #1 for its innovative path that it has taken since establishment.
Founder Karim Rammal wrote the patent when a friend of his wife had a payment rejected as her foreign bank issued card card could not be accommodated by a US online store. Don't we love innovations that have a human story?
Boloro requires that the user has a mobile phone. Who doesn't have a mobile phone these days, whether in a first world country or a village in a third world country?
With Boloro, the unbanked and the underbanked can now use their phone account to carry transactions.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Rammal says: "The service allows them to pay for groceries at merchants in their own neighborhoods, pay for a bus ride or online purchases by simply offering their phone number or tapping a NFC tag paired to that number at the merchant and authorizing the purchase using their PIN on their own mobile handset, all within 10 seconds. The first Boloro test transactions were cross-border purchases from US Troops based in Afghanistan and a special 1800Flowers.com 16-bouquet microsite. Troops selected and sent an arrangement to their loved ones in the US while securely paying for it using their pre-paid mobile phone account and a 4-digit PIN."
With much enthusiasm, dedication, and planning, Boloro has had great successes in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. And we pretend that this business will take the way we pay to another level, breaking any limitations that other companies have faced.