Electronic payment company PayNearMe and Telinta, which offers cloud-based financial solutions, will collaborate to roll out a new service that caters to those who are unbanked and underbanked. The companies' service will allow select telecom-service providers to accept cash payments from their consumers at thousands of locations across the country, the companies announced yesterday (May 20).
Under the terms of the agreement, 17,000 U.S. retail outlets, spanning 7-Eleven, Family Dollar and ACE Cash Express, will offer the payment option, through which customers can opt to make a cash payment after generating a payment code from the PayNearMe platform, which is in turn accessed via the Telinta softswitch platform. The telecom customer then brings the code to the retail outlet, and hands over cash alongside the code at the register. A paper receipt offers proof of purchase and funds are immediately guaranteed with Telinta. The press release states that the process takes less than 60 seconds in all. Additionally adding to the convenience factor, the companies stated that many of the stores that will offer the service are open around the clock.
The companies said they are tapping into an unmet need for convenience: According to the FDIC, 28 percent (34 million) of U.S. households are financially underserved. That number is actually quite low compared to the figured reported in late 2014, when it was reported that 68 million U.S. citizens did not use a bank.
"Having an easy way to pay for telecom services is a necessity for all consumers," said Danny Shader, PayNearMe's founder and chief executive officer in the statement announcing the collaboration between PayNearMe and Telinta. "This partnership helps friends and families stay in touch across thousands of miles, regardless of whether they choose to pay through plastic or cash. Telecom service providers who use PayNearMe will find that it is a unique competitive advantage over others in the industry who are not yet serving this segment of the population."