PayNearMe (Formerly Kwedit) Focuses on Local Cash Payments

Alternative payment service PayNearMe publicly announced the launch of its payment platform and is boasting a number of merchants including Facebook that will be using its services. The company, previously known as Kwedit that we covered back in Feburary, empowers consumers without cards to pay for a range of transactions like e-commerce purchases, telephone orders, loan repayments via cash at their local 7-Eleven stores. PayNearMe’s attempt to capitalize on this large opportunity may pay off nicely. More after the jump.

29 percent of American households don’t have a credit card and 54 percent of U.S. adults prefer to pay with cash. These large households are considered underbanked according to FDIC’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and US Census Bureau. PayNearMe’s solution surpasses other alternative methods including pre-paid debit cards or money orders in ease of use as well as price. PayNearMe also reduces the hassles of worrying about fraud, chargebacks or held funds. Paid-debit cards often have incremental amounts they offer – something PayNearMe can bypass entirely as consumers may not use the entire amount that’s available on a debit card, leading to a consumer-side loss.

“PayNearMe enables almost any business – e-commerce merchants, catalogers, money transmitters, lenders, collection agencies, and more – to provide a simpler, faster, and often far less expensive payment mechanism to their consumers,” said Danny Shader, PayNearMe’s CEO. “We designed PayNearMe to improve the customer experience for those who prefer to pay with cash so that businesses who serve them can grow their top and bottom lines more quickly.”

So what exactly does PayNearMe’s offering entail? PayNearMe combines a modified load network with an app development platform to increase the range of transactions that can be conducted with cash. Basically users pay for something using their PayNearMe account and this transaction is ‘staged’ until the user goes to a local store and pays for it. The payment process takes under a minute and users can pay at over 6,000 7-Eleven stores today.

For the merchants, PayNearMe’s integration is simple. Since the point of sale devices at 7-Eleven are connected directly to PayNearMe’s systems, merchants can receive real time notifications of payments received and give consumers’ printed receipts confirming the transaction. Both cost reduction and elimination of fraud are key value adds that the company brings in addition to making it easy to pay with cash.

PayNearMe’s already established relations with many merchants. Some of the notable ones include: Amazon, Facebook, Progreso Financiero and more. Amazon will allow customers to buy gift cards online in any increments and Facebook will allow users to purchase Facebook Credits.

“7-Eleven views this as an opportunity to provide even more convenience for shoppers because consumers can now easily purchase online products without the need of a debit or credit card,” said Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven’s senior vice president for merchandising and logistics. “We want 7-Eleven to be the neighborhood destination for people who prefer or need to pay in cash and to provide all consumers with the same shopping choices no matter how they wish to pay for goods and services.”