Paidpiper’s New App Lets Beggars Be Choosers

What's Next In Payments®
5:33 PM EDT May 22nd, 2013

This situation is likely familiar to many parents: their son or daughter stops at the mall or a local retail store on the way home from school, only to spot a new shirt or jacket they absolutely must have. And even better, it’s on sale.

In no time, mom or dad is on the phone with their child, who’s arguing at length that now is the time to buy. But how can a parent ensure they capitalize on this savings without a trip to the bank or a long drive to the store at the end of a busy day?

Lucky for tired moms and dads, Joanna Livadas says that her company, Paidpiper, is looking to take the stress out of these purchases by providing an innovative solution to this age-old problem with it’s Ok’d app: a platform powered by closed-loop card that runs on an open-loop system.

While it sounds complex, using the app is simpler in practice. PYMNTS.com spoke with Livadas, VP of operations at Paidpiper, to learn more.

Livadas says Paidpiper’s app allows users to simply snap a picture of the item they want to purchase and send a request with details like the amount of the product, any added taxes and the store’s location directly to the person they want to help them with their buying. Once approved, the service generates a one-time use card from the sender’s credit card that can be tied to any merchant.

“From my perspective, it saves me time and money and it gives me control of how those funds are spent by my kid at the store,” Livadas said.

Livadas said that with Ok’d, users have “all the same controls as [they] would have with the money in [their] pocket.” For example, current version of the app are locked in via geo-fencing and merchant ID tracking, so funds can’t be reused or mishandled. Further, recipients have a specific time window in which to complete their purchase and any approved funds that aren’t used are returned to the sender.

But while Livadas and many commentators are quick to use kids in their examples, she believes the product has broader implications for a wide audience.

“Our target demographic is college-aged kids… we think they’ll be our first adopters, but since they need to ask somebody for the money to be funded, the very next person who downloads the app in their life is going to be a parent or a grandparent, somebody’s who’s going to help them out with whatever they need at college,” she says.

Livadas went on to note an example of one business owner who immediately saw its usefulness for dealing with purchases that need to be made by employees: ones that would have otherwise needed to be expensed. She expects that the app’s avid users will continue to shape the platform’s functionality, and it seems like investors feel just as strongly about the app’s potential.

Paidpiper, which launched on April 29 at Disrupt NY, has since raised more than $1.2 million in funding from VCs like CrunchFund, T5 Capital and Blumberg Capital.

How will these funds affect the company’s future in a space increasingly crowded with solutions? Listen to the full podcast with Livadas below to find out.

   

*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.



Joanna Livadas
VP, Paidpiper Inc.


Joanna has over 26+ years of business and marketing experience ranging from Fortune 500 experience to early start-ups and bootstrap companies. Her passion is to identifying customer problems and then solve them by applying technology ‘when and where’ it intersects the real world. Her recent focus is centered around mobile users and shoppers, their behavior and expectations, and the applicability and effectiveness of targeted micro/nano marketing to these users.

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