Skimm Centralises Different Payment Methods in a Single Application

By September 29, 2011
Keywords : Smart city, Europe

This new French startup intends to offer a means to make online or in-store purchases and bank transactions using the same application. All you will have to do is photo a QR code and then enter your password to validate the operation.

While Squareadds a small magnetic card-reader to a smartphone to turn it into a transaction tool that also enables the use of credit cards, Skimm is betting on an app to do the job.  The firm, which was among those selected for the second French Startup Camp named Camping, is working on a solution that will enable "anyone to carry out any financial transaction, at any time or place simply via their smartphone account", Skimm co-developer Valentin Lautier told L'Atelier.  That means it will enable users to buy online - on e-commerce sites or using the QR codes on high-street advertisements – or in a store, and to carry out banking transactions or payment transfers between individuals, provided that the companies in question have agreed to partner with the startup.

All payment features via a single app

To take advantage of the app’s functionality, the user will first of all need to record his or her bank card details on the smartphone.  Then s/he will be able to carry out transactions simply by flashing a QR code. The app logs purchases made in shops or online web and authorises payment if the user snaps a photo of the code shown for instance on a poster in the street. The same goes for money-transfers.  As security, for every operation – purchase or modification of personal data – the app requires the user to tap in his or her private pin code. In addition you can block the app remotely in the event that the phone is stolen.

Retailers will have to be won over first

The main challenge for the French startup is to persuade enough local retailers and online shopping sites to accept the system, if the purchaser is going to see real added value in the shopping process.  Meanwhile, in the battle for the mobile payment market, Google has just announced the official launch of Google Wallet in the United States.  However the USgiant has decided to use Near Field Communication (NFC) in its bid to further the spread of m-payment in shops and on public transport. At the moment, Skimm is undergoing a test phase with 100,000 students in the Parisregion. Its commercial launch is scheduled for 25 October.

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