Pay with Your Smartphone Using QR Codes from Kuapay

August 11, 2011

10:16 am

Kuapay, like quite a few other mobile payment companies, is changing the way we pay on the go. Kuapay is a free mobile app that allows users to make purchases with their smartphone anywhere credit cards are accepted. But, how is Kuapay different from competitors like Square and Google Wallet?

Unlike the competition, Kuapay doesn’t require merchants or consumers to purchase any new hardware. Kuapay uses QR codes and supports iPhone, Android and Blackberry. The app isn’t NFC-dependent, but plans to support NFC when it becomes more mainstream.

Transactions are safe, because the QR code doesn’t contain any personal or financial information. Instead, it acts more as an identifier and changes after each transaction. Your financial data is encrypted before it is sent to the Kuapay servers. And, if your phone gets lost or stolen, you can lock your Kuapay account or unsync your device through Kuapay’s website.

Another difference is that Kuapay doesn’t limit the cards available. Users can sync both credit and debit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. Kuapay even supports rewards cards, and, eventually, they will support gift cards.

The company was founded in December 2010 by Joaquin Ayuso de Paul, co-founder of the popular Spanish social network Tuenti. The company is launching their first U.S. mobile payment trials in downtown LA and Santa Monica over the next few weeks.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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