We’re doing for payments what MP3 did for CDs

If you think of the internet as just a series of pipes; then it’s what you push down those pipes that matters.

We used to buy CDs, but as MP3 compression and home internet connection speeds matured simultaneously, it became more convenient (and cheaper) to deliver music over the internet.

Voice-over-IP (like Skype) means that long-distance telephone calls, once charged at a premium by telecoms firms, are now merely data packets transmitted across the internet – just the same as any other data.

Meanwhile, every time you swipe your credit card, pay online, or use a cashpoint – every time your local coffee shop pays cash into their own bank account – the incumbent financial system makes money with transaction fees.

We started Droplet with a simple idea: that moving money should be free. We route transactions over the internet (fully encrypted, of course) – so each payment is nothing more than data moving through the dumb pipes.

This lets us offer cost savings to our merchants, and convenience and security to our users.

We’ve exposed a truth that the banking industry aren’t ready to face up to yet: that moving money is free. After all, your current account balance is just a number in a database.

We’re up

Droplet, the mobile payment platform we’ve been working on for twelve months, is up and running in beta.

We’ve started with merchants in Birmingham, UK – mainly because we want to tackle the ‘two-sided market‘ problem in a small, dense area.

It’s been a really intense four days, and I’ve been surprised by the amount of support and kind words we’ve had so far. Thank you.

The Droplet site is at dropletpay.com and the direct link to Droplet on the App Store is here.

Turn on two-factor authentication

If you’re reading this and you’re not using two-factor authentication (TFA) for your online services, stop reading now and go enable it.

Using TFA, if your passwords are ever compromised (LinkedIn, eHarmony, Last.fm…), then an attacker would also need access to your phone to log in. Pretty secure.

Dropbox have just added two-factor, and Google have offered it for some time.

The Google Authenticator app for iOS works really well, can be set up in seconds by scanning a QR code (a perfect QR use-case, by the way) and makes it really easy to get a one-time code: exactly zero-taps are required.

Still reading? Stop now and turn on two-factor authentication.

 

TEDxBrum 2013

TEDx events are the independently-organised, regional versions of the phenomenally popular TED conferences.

I was lucky enough to speak at TEDx Brum earlier this year. I enjoyed it a lot, and I’m delighted to learn the team are planning an event for 2013.

They’re looking for something pretty rare; talented people with experience – prepared to volunteer in the name of “Ideas worth spreading”.

They put together an extremely professional, well-run event last time around and I’ve got no doubt they’ll do it again.

For information on the roles they’re looking to fill, the blog post is here: http://www.tedxbrum.org/blog/tedx-brum-team-2013-we-want-you/