Mobile Payments, Funding Come to PayNearMe

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By Chris Morrison

One of the more specialized payment companies we’ve covered is PayNearMe, an outfit that focuses on finding ways for the quarter of United States citizens who don’t have credit cards to pay for goods and services online. The company is announcing $16 million in funding today and a new step to streamlining its payments today by adding mobile to its offerings.

Without credit cards, most of that quarter of the population ends up paying for everything with cash, which presents some obvious problems online. PayNearMe’s first iteration had payers print out a slip, which they carried to a chain like 7-Eleven. Unfortunately, if you’re in the minority without credit cards, you probably also don’t have a printer.

PayNearMe’s new feature is the ability to use a phone to complete the transaction. After entering a transaction, the user will enter their mobile number, and receive a text in return. They can then go to their local 7-Eleven, buy a gift card, and text the number on it back. The only other step is to pay at the counter, in cash.

This payment flow is not a totally obvious or convenient way of paying, but that’s true of other methods available to those people in the cash economy. The question, then, becomes how those people will find out about PayNearMe.

“A subtle distinction between us and most payment companies is that they market to consumers. We market to merchants, who for all intents and purposes market us,” says CEO Danny Shader.

The $16 million funding was led by Khosla Ventures, and makes for a total of $22.3 million so far for PayNearMe. We last covered PayNearMe when it became a Facebook Credits partner.