twitpay – Pay by Twitter


I had a friend “tweet” me a payment using twitpay this afternoon. I remember twitpay from earily in the year, but unlike my experiences with OboPay and Amazon Payments, sending a txt message or using a website to initiate a payment seem to be the easiest, thus I never signed up with twitpay, I also believe that it was in a early beta as the time as well, and honestly I thought it was silly, why would I use twitter to send payments when there are other working models that I’ve used. But with me being in the payments space and some what of an early adopter, I think I’l give it a shot the next few times I need to pay friends back for lunch.

twitpay uses the Amazon Payments Infrastructure, so you need to create an Amazon Payments Account and link your DDA and or Credit/Debit Cards Numbers to it. As a user of Amazon Payments as an alternative to using Obopay (I found it cheaper and there was less nagging verification) I didn’t need to perform this step.

How to use twitpay. It is easy — just tweet:

@dbergert twitpay $5.00 for lunch money

This would pay the user dbergert (this is me btw) $5.00 with a comment of “for lunch money”

In order for the recipient to claim their payment, they need to be a twitter user, and first follow the twitpay user, and then “Claim” your twitter account, which will result in a PIN that is DM’ed (Direct Messaged) to you from twitpay. then you can see what amounts your are owed, and then you also have the ability to send payments as well. When you want to settle up ? which doesn’t appear to be automatic, you click on the settle-up button to initiate the funds transfer from your Amazon Payments Account to the Recipients Amazon Payments Account. twitpay charges a nickel for transactions over $1.00 to settle.

Give it shot, It is a neat unique way of quickly paying a friend for something, I’m not sure if it works with DM’s so you should note that any payment that you make currently with twitpay are public to those who can read your twitter updates.

I’ve sent a few friends varying amounts between .50 and .75 this evening to see how useful it is, Honestly I’ll probably just use Amazon Payments txt or website interface, but who knows, let’s see how the experiment goes!

Mobile Tagging – mobile phone barcode readers


One of the things that I discovered on my phone is that is has a bar code reader that can read both Data Matrix and QR (Quick Response) barcode formats, and I can create them as well.  It is like having a CueCat in your phone !!! Which to me is some pretty neat stuff.



The process is called mobile tagging -  and compliments of Wikipedia – here is a picture of the process:


And here is my business card in vCard format:








mobile commerce – sms text notifications

Picture 20If you have ever used Obopay or even social networking site Facebook, chances are that you have interacted with your mobile phone with these sites in some manner with your phone.  Obopay, is a little more obvious, but you receive text notifications when you send or received money on your mobile.  Facebook sends text messages to your registered mobile phone number for you to validate your account, Obopay also uses multi-factor authentication to validate the user of its website using a phone call and spoken code, or a text with a message and a code that need to type in a webpage. This is called Out-of-Band Authentication and your bank may have implemented something similar for its Internet banking.


Yesterday, I researched and implemented text notifications when you perform an Reload or Add Money transaction on our issuing platform to your prepaid card using an interface to a SMS Gateway. Check it out below: I’m using my Nokia E71 here.


Obopay adds multi-factor authentication

Picture 16Since becoming an Obopay user, I’ve noticed that very recently that they have implemented a multi-factor authentication for transactions initiated from their mobile website.  I needed to pay $2.14 to a friend who picked up a lunch for me yesterday: Monday is $1.00 Maid-Rites :)  When sending the money I received the following (see picture on left) screen, and my phone rang shortly after – requiring me to type in my obopay PIN to complete the transaction.  Very well done!  I know that Chase uses a similar process (out of band verification) for its Internet banking. Authentify is a company that provides a service like this — please leave a comment below if you know of any others.  Also – if you noticed in the picture I’ve updated my Nokia E51 to a Nokia E71 – a very nice phone – (I really missed the QWERTY keyboard)

Visa’s mobile payment services

According to CNet and a few Visa Press Releases:

We see a P2P like money transfer service for card and mobile phone holders:

Under a pilot program with U.S. Bank, which is scheduled to begin by the end of the year, Visa will offer mobile money transfers from one Visa cardholder’s account to another. A U.S. Bank Visa cardholder would use a Web browser on their phone to access funds and transfer it directly to the recipient’s account. The recipient could then withdraw the funds from an ATM machine, or use the money to make purchases.

and working will cell phone manufactures Google Android Platform.

The Visa-Android deal calls for Chase Visa cardholders to use their Android phone for not only transferring money, but also to receive real-time email alerts when transactions happen on their Visa account, receive offers from merchants, and view images on Google maps to find the location of those merchants who are offering the specials. The Google-Visa deal is expected to begin sometime by the end of the year.

and we begin to see the merging between the card and a phone as a contact-less payment vehicle at the point-of-sale.

The Nokia 6212 classic includes integrated Near-Field Communications chipsets (NFC) which lets the mobile device behave like a contactless payment card, where consumers simply wave it within a few inches of a special point of sale reader to complete a Visa transaction. Nokia and Visa first demonstrated NFC technology in December 2005 with the launch of the first large scale NFC trial in the United States at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta.