CARDFREE has launched what it claims to be the first fully integrated mobile merchant platform today.
It will accept payments both from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, a conventional Internet browser or at the point of sale in a bricks-and-mortar store. In any of these contexts, businesses that use the CARDFREE platform can offer their customers offers and promotions, loyalty schemes and pre-order services.
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CARDFREE is a white-label platform, which means it can be rebranded to suit the needs of any individual merchant or vendor. It also offers what the company describes as “robust data analytics” to help clients make decisions about how people are submitting orders and purchases.
The new company, which is based in San Francisco, closed a Series A funding round worth $10 million last month. It is part of a portfolio of companies advised by Jeffrey Katz, who is an investor and chairman of the board at CARDFREE. Katz is also known for founding Mercury Payments Systems, a payments processor with plenty of experience and knowledge in the mobile payments space.
Jon Squire, CEO of CARDFREE, leads the company after working for more than two years as CMO of the mobile commerce solution CorFire. Before that, Squire was Senior Vice President of Wallet & Payments at mFroundry for three years.
The rest of CARDFREE’s executive team is made up of mobile commerce innovators such as Dustin Young, who worked at InComm for more than seven years and left as Vice President for Product Strategy, as well as Chuck Davidson, who conceived, led and launched the Starbucks Card Mobile scheme. Meanwhile Diane Hong, Head of Marketing at CARDFREE, previously worked at VISA and mFoundry as Senior Vice President for Marketing.
Squire said the company launching today has managed to reunite individuals who “created the gold standard” in mobile commerce deployments in the past.
“We have a fundamental belief that the merchant is the most important piece of the omni-channel ecosystem, and CARDFREE built its platform around that belief,” Squire said. “Our team comes from large merchants, vendors who service them and payments enablers; together, we will look to further disrupt the status quo of mobile.”
The mobile commerce and mobile payment platform spaces have become fiercely competitive in recent years, both in the United States and other international markets.
Earlier this month we picked out Elephanti, which is a loyalty reward card that uses Foursquare-style check-ins on your smartphone, as well as Alt12’s venture into curated mobile stores aimed at parents.
If CARDFREE wants to be taken seriously though, it will need to tackle other payment platforms such as Square and LevelUp by gaining significant support both from consumers and vendors. Although many payment platforms support multiple payment apps and solutions, it seems that both of these groups are starting to pick sides, illustrating just how important it is to get in early.
Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers