Craigslist isn't exactly a beacon of success as a company that's been struggling to make its outdated platform relevant, but there's one startup that plans on taking it on in a big way.
Enabling mobile payments between buyers and sellers across its marketplace.
That's the new plan of OfferUp, a startup company that's testing out its new mobile payments capabilities in Seattle. What the company is doing is testing how it can provide a marketplace where buyers and sellers can eliminate the need to exchange cash. This move could give it a leg-up over Craigslist.
For now, the mobile payments option is still in beta and can be used for transactions of $500 or less. There hasn't been much chatter publicly about the company's plans to expand or more about how the feature can be used. For now, it appears to be an app available to both iOS and Android users.
“We’re always testing new features on OfferUp and decided to start with Seattle in testing new payment options,” OfferUp CEO Nick Huzar told GeekWire via email. “We’re learning as we go, but there are no concrete plans to expand the beta test beyond Seattle at this time.”
But that doesn't mean buyers and sellers have to choose the mobile payments option. Cash will still be an accepted option.
According to GeekWire's report, OfferUp is known as Seattle's "unicorn," since it's the biggest of its type in the area with more than $1 billion valuation. It reportedly is expecting to process more than $14 billion worth of transactions this year alone, which could show why it's looking deeper into mobile payments.
But this isn't the only platform of its type to get into mobile payments. Last year, a company called VarageSale did the same using Stripe, which is what OfferUp will be using. But, for now, the startup's biggest challenge goes beyond payments. It still needs to scale its platforms in order to get the consumer base that Craigslist has.