August 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

Mocapay launches mobile marketing and payment systems for retailers

Once customers sign up on Mocapay.com, they can use their mobile phones to make purchases at multichannel retailers including ink! Coffee Co. and Doc Popcorn. Mocapay combines mobile marketing with mobile payment systems.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Once customers sign up on Mocapay.com, they can use their mobile phones to make purchases at multichannel retailers including ink! Coffee Co. and Doc Popcorn. Mocapay combines mobile marketing with mobile payment systems.

Denver-based Mocapay works with retailers’ existing gift card and loyalty programs, enabling customers to use their mobile phones instead of plastic cards to make purchases.

Keith Herbert, CEO and founder of ink! Coffee, which has eight coffee houses in and around Denver and Boulder, CO, says customers as well as the company’s own employees are showing a strong preference for paying with their cell phones instead of with plastic payment cards. “We can process these mobile payments super fast at the cash register, and people love the convenience of paying with something they’re carrying around anyway,” Herbert says. “Our baristas say it’s the only way to pay.”

Mocapay is designed to enable payments from mobile phones for purchases made online as well as at store point-of-sale terminals, though it is currently working only in in-store POS environments, a spokeswoman says. It also supports marketing offers that participating retailers can text-message consumers with Mocapay gift card accounts.

ShortStop, a ConocoPhillips Co. branded convenience store chain based in Boulder, CO, was the first to deploy Mocapay’s mobile gift card payments system earlier this year after a three-month trial. The retailer reports that 5% of gift card users used the mobile system to load value onto gift card accounts and that Mocapay accounted for nearly 10% of gift card purchase transaction volumes.

Also accepting Mocapy mobile payments at store POS terminals is gourmet popcorn retailer Doc Popcorn, which has eight stores in the Denver area and an e-commerce site, DocPopcorn.com.

Mocapay integrates its technology with Smart Transaction Systems, also based in Boulder, to process payments. Consumers log onto to Mocapay.com to create and load value to gift card accounts using ACH bank account transfers or payment card accounts.

When making a purchase, a consumer using Mocapay can send an SMS text message from their mobile phone to Mocapay to receive an authorization code to present to a clerk (or eventually enter online) or they can use a mobile phone to log onto Mocapay.com to request a code.

In a third option, iPhone users can use a Mocapay app that enables them to simply click a Mocapay icon to open up a window of the individual gift card accounts they have for each participating retailer. Clicking a second time on one of those merchant gift card accounts produces the authorization code.

Mocapay’s fees charged to merchants vary depending on volume, a spokeswoman says.

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