Bitcoin Payments Go NFC

“There exists a bizarre gap in today’s state of financial services.”

That’s the philosophy of Shake, a new startup in the bitcoin world that is (unsurprisingly) trying to pitch a payment method that doesn’t involve banks, governments or regulators. Instead, its latest product rollout is all about making bitcoin and digital currency payments easier to make.

Which, in this case, means tapping into the power of NFC.

“What could happen if we link bitcoin to the existing financial infrastructure?” the company wrote in a recent blog post. Well, according to the startup, that means enabling more consumers to use bitcoin wallets, where they can pay by using their mobile device to tap — and that starts with contactless-enabled terminals (which the startup claims will work with its Android app).

“All contactless-enabled terminals around the world will now accept your phone as a method of payment,” the company confirms on its blog, which also details its plans to enable virtual bitcoin cards to be used for online payments.

So, how does Shake work?

“We’re very excited to introduce the first version of Shake, one that we’re dubbing Shake Alpha. The Shake app allows anyone with an Android phone equipped with NFC to tap and pay for purchases at any Visa-accepting contactless terminal,” the company wrote.

Those virtual cards can also be tailored to how the consumer likes to spend, where they like to use their cards and how to handle the security of those cards if there are security issues. Shake offers both plastic cards, where tap-and-pay tech isn’t available (including plastic EMV cards), along with virtual cards. Shake also enables customers to set limits on what companies can charge those specific cards.

“You can issue a card number for every merchant. One for Netflix, one for Amazon and one for your day-to-day expenses. If a merchant gets hacked, you can easily issue a new card, transfer your funds over and voila! You’re safe from fraudulent charges. Use them like throwaway cards,” the company wrote.


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