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From Birmingham to the World—Digital cash platform Droplet proving mobile payments industry ripe for disruption

Droplet exists to change the way the world uses money by building a platform for payments that’s fee free, and which anyone can build on.

We started Droplet in Birmingham because of the opportunity we saw evolving in mobile commerce, and how poorly we felt the incumbent payment providers were addressing it.

People have started buying things from their phones, and with Smartphone ownership set to reach 31m units in the UK (60%+ market share) everyone from retailers to entertainment providers to banks, is moving to mobile.

The payment component in the exchange of value is fundamental and simple but at the moment banks and card issuers dominate the market.  These existing technologies focus on payments using an out-dated, pre-web system that carries high investment and transactional costs for merchants and offers no perceivable benefit to users.  

At Droplet we are taking advantage of the fact that regulation now allows for non-banks to handle electronic payments and “non-banks” are already expected to handle 10% of payments worldwide by end of 2013.  This creates the potential for Droplet to do the ‘heavy lifting’ and release all the benefits of a fully web-based solution for payments by securely storing, accessing and moving money in tandem with other information like geographic location and metadata.

By solving the problem of payments we are able to unlock all the possibilities that e-commerce has to offer, for example for merchants, who are looking for new channels to engage with consumers in order to build and maintain relevance.  They know that they have to deliver constantly refreshed, bespoke messaging to ensure loyalty and that the key to this lies in interpretation of customer payment behavior.  

People are increasingly using their phones to deliver a direct, seamless extension of their life choices without the interruption of the typical payment ritual, and never before have they been able to use their payment behaviour to receive loyalty rewards and marketing propositions that are tailored to their interests.   Droplet makes all this possible at people’s personal discretion.

Because Droplet is a payment platform, anyone can build fee-free payments into their existing products and services.  With Droplet’s API developers can build ‘Pay with Droplet’ into their apps and websites.

Droplet customers’ balance exists in the cloud and can be accessed via a few taps, whilst merchants can enjoy a fee-free transaction environment in which secure payment is achieved in less than 5 seconds online, via mobile or in bricks and mortar space. 

Developers can also build Droplet Tools, which provide the means for merchants to connect with their customers through the flexibility of the Droplet app - offering loyalty packages, custom choices, and even shaping customer offers to address personal spending profiles.

We believe that eventually, the web always wins and an open, accessible platform for payments can become widespread.   Here in Birmingham (and recently in London too) we’re working on building this platform, and creating endless possibilities for businesses whose work is moving into the digital space.

This post was written by Steffan Aquarone, film producer, technology entrepreneur and CEO of Droplet.

 

 

 

 

 

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