PayNearMe today announced the launch of its new cash payment network and technology platform.
PayNearMe combines a modified cash load network with an application technology platform so that consumers without credit or debit cards - or those who prefer to pay with cash - can conduct a wide range of remote transactions. By doing so, PayNearMe enables companies in a diverse set of industries to turn millions of American households into new paying customers. Consumers can use PayNearMe for e-commerce purchases, telephone orders, loan repayments, or to load funds into e-wallets and more at retail locations throughout the U.S., starting with more than 6,000 7-Eleven stores.
In addition, the company announced that Amazon.com, Facebook, Progreso Financiero, MOL AccessPortal (MOL), m-Via, Lexicon Marketing, LLC, Adknowledge's Super Rewards, Money to Go and SteelSeries will be among the first merchants to use PayNearMe to provide their customers with the option to pay with cash at 7-Eleven stores.
Addressing the Need for a Better, Faster and More Affordable Alternative Payment Method
One quarter of U.S. households (over 30 million) - representing $1.3 trillion dollars in annual spending - is considered un- or underbanked, according to the FDIC, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau. Roughly the same percentage of U.S. households does not have a credit or debit card.
PayNearMe provides these consumers with a method of payment that is simpler to use and often far less expensive than current payment alternatives such as pre-paid debit cards, walk-up bill pay, or money orders sent by mail. With PayNearMe, consumers needn't worry about losing their pre-paid cards, accumulating unused balances, or being forced into pre-payment instruments with fixed denominations. In addition, consumers don't need to do anything after making their payment at a local store - merchants (payees) are notified of consumers' payments immediately and transactions are completed automatically.
Importantly, with PayNearMe, merchants NearMe, merchants don't have to worry about fraud, chargebacks, or held funds: cash payments via PayNearMe are guaranteed 100% good, communicated in real-time, and settled within days.
"PayNearMe enables almost any business - e-commerce merchants, catalogers, lenders, collection agencies, and more - to provide a simpler, faster, and often far less expensive payment mechanism to their consumers," said Danny Shader, PayNearMe's CEO. "We designed PayNearMe to improve the customer experience for those who prefer to pay with cash so that businesses who serve them can grow their top and bottom lines more quickly."
Turning the Prepaid Model on Its Head
PayNearMe combines a modified load network with an application development platform to increase the range of transactions that can be conducted with cash. In contrast to prepaid transactions, where consumers load value onto a card or other instrument and then "push" some or all of those funds to a payee, with PayNearMe, arbitrarily complex transactions are "staged" by the merchant (payee) and completed in real-time when consumers pay at a local store for those staged transactions. The payment process takes less than a minute, and is available at retail locations throughout the United States, starting with more than 6,000 7-Eleven stores today.
Merchants can use PayNearMe with no integration. Alternatively, they can use PayNearMe's robust development platform to enable highly customized applications that further speed the purchase experience. Because the point of sale terminals at 7-Eleven stores are connected directly to PayNearMe's systems, payees are notified in real-time when their consumer has paid. They may also instruct PayNearMe to print custom messages on consumers' register receipts. These messages can be used to print gift codes, tickets, proof of insurance, loan statements, legal disclosures, and more.
The ability of PayNearMe's flexible technology platform to reduce cost is one of the reasons - alongside the elimination of fraud - that PayNearMe is often far less expensive for consumers than existing alternative payment services. This technology also enables merchants to provide goods and services in ways that would not be possible with existing alternatives.
For example, merchants are working with PayNearMe to provide insurance products and sell transportation tickets. Customers will leave 7-Eleven with proof of insurance or a valid ticket respectively. Both of these applications are enabled in part by PayNearMe's unique ability to generate and print custom messages on the register receipt.
Some of the Merchants Offering PayNearMe Include:
Amazon.com: Amazon.com customers can conveniently buy Gift Cards online in any amount they choose (in $0.01 increments up to $1,000), and pay for them with cash. These Gift Cards can be used to buy millions of items on Amazon.com starting the end of this month.
Facebook: Facebook users can safely and easily buy Facebook Credits with cash using PayNearMe at a 7-Eleven store, and those Credits will be deposited into users' accounts before they reach the parking lot. Facebook Credits are used to buy gifts and virtual goods in many games and applications on the Facebook platform.
Progreso Financiero: Progreso Financiero helps underbanked Hispanic families build credit and gain access to mainstream financial services. The company extends small dollar loans to customers that are often repaid in person at Progreso Financiero storefronts located in neighborhood retail outlets.
PayNearMe increases the number of locations at which Progreso Financiero customers can make their loans payments from approximately 30 throughout California and Texas to more than 1,000. Progreso customers who make payments at a PayNearMe location will receive an up-to-date receipt reflecting their payment and outstanding loan balance.
"PayNearMe allows us to expand the number of payment locations for our customers in a cost-effective way," said James Gutierrez, CEO of Progreso Financiero.
"7-Eleven views this as an opportunity to provide even more convenience for shoppers because consumers can now easily purchase online products without the need of a debit or credit card," said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven's senior vice president for merchandising and logistics. "We want 7-Eleven to be the neighborhood destination for people who prefer or need to pay in cash and to provide all consumers with the same shopping choices no matter how they wish to pay for goods and services."