App transfers money with tap of a phone

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Splitting the bill at a restaurant or settling road trip expenses can be as simple as tapping two phones together to transfer the funds.

Bump Pay is a new app for person-to-person mobile payments developed by Bump, the makers of the app of the same name that allows the instant transfer of contact information and photos.

“You type in the amount you want to send, you bump your phones together and you'll be immediately taken to the PayPal confirmation page,” explained David Lieb, the co-founder and CEO of Bump.

With over 85 million downloads in the past three years of the original Bump app, the company is expanding its focus to other areas using their design philosophy, which is to minimise the friction involved in exchanging information and data between people.

And they're starting with the mobile payments space.

“The pain point we found ourselves saying is 'I don't have any cash on me and I don't know how to give you money for those concert tickets yesterday'“ said Lieb.

Rather than focusing on the retail mobile payments space, an area already crowded with products like Square, PayPal Here and Intuit's GoPayment, Lieb said that the company is concentrating exclusively on person-to-person payments.

“Right now we're focused on this problem of making it easier for friends and colleagues to pay each other. Certainly that could lead into other things we could do, but that was the area we found the most pain points in,” he explained.

The service only works with PayPal but Lieb said the company is open to exploring other payment options in the future.

The app was initially created as an internal experiment as part of their Bump Labs initiative, which is experimenting with a variety of projects.

“They're all related to this core idea of simplifying and speeding up a lot of the interactions that are maybe more difficult than they should be,” said Lieb.

A similar app called Venmo allows users to exchange money using their bank and credit card accounts. PayPal also has an app for person-to-person mobile payments, which up until March 15th, integrated Bump's technology. Some banks, such as ING Direct, also incorporate Bump's technology into its apps.

Bump Pay relies on the physical contact of phones, so it can only be done in person. It is available for iOS devices on the US app store. - Reuters

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