Interview with Flint Mobile: Social Media Intergration and Mobile Platform Expansion on Horizon

Flint Mobile, a new application that’s making waves in the mobile processing industry has been keeping busy in the first half of 2012 — They’ve recently acquired $3 million in venture capital funding and have launched a new app that allows for payment processing on-the-go without the use of a dongle. Greg Goldfarb, CEO of Flint Mobile, was kind enough to field a few questions we had about their service…

CCPnet: How and when was Flint initially conceived?

Goldfarb: The idea for Flint was originally conceived in late 2010. The concept hatched from two fundamental premises 1. that small businesses were increasingly mobile and 2. that ultimately these users would insist on a simple yet secure payment experience that was just a smartphone app — without any sort of accessory dongle. The founders of Flint had deep experience in mobile applications that used cameras to read business cards and saw the potential to apply similar technology to mobile payments.

CCPnet: Can you briefly explain how long set up takes and how long transactions take to process?

Goldfarb: Setting up an account with Flint is simple. It takes less than five minutes to sign up and activate your account through our online signup form. Sign up can be completed through any interface: computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Once you download the application, you can start processing payments right away — no waiting to get a dongle or for lengthy merchant account approval processes. Transactions are processed in real time while your customer is with you.

CCPnet: You intend on integrating social sharing with transactions — can you explain in further detail how you are going to go about doing this while respecting consumer privacy?

Goldfarb: Yes, we’ve developed a system that makes it very easy for small business owners to engage customers via social channels by encouraging them to post reviews and recommendations to their networks. The reviews are completely optional and the customer can control where it is published and who gets to see it, so their privacy remains intact. Also, none of the financial or credit card details of the transaction are shared — our approach simply enables more customer referrals and testimonials for the small business.

The review can be published simultaneously to the merchant’s Facebook Fan page as well as the customer’s newsfeed.

CCPnet: How competitive have you made your transactions fees? Are they comparable to processing services that require a dongle, such as Square or PayPal Here?

Goldfarb: Yes, our transaction fees are 1.95% + $0.20 per transaction for debit cards, which make up about 65% of card transactions in the U.S., and 2.95% + $0.20 per transaction for credit cards. Flint is among the first in the mobile category to offer lower debit card fees to even the smallest of businesses.

CCPnet: Currently the service is only offered via iPhone. How soon do you expect to be on other smartphones?

Goldfarb: We’ll be rolling out on other major mobile device platforms starting later this year.

CCPnet: With any payment transaction, there are always security concerns. What kind of security measures does Flint take to protect consumers from fraud? Are pictures stored on smartphones or erased after the transaction is finalized?

Goldfarb: The Flint processing environment is architected with sound security principles in mind throughout the development process. We have built the service with security and fraud prevention in mind from day one. The fraud protection measures range from automated merchant qualification controls and transaction screening to data security and handling. Flint has uniquely designed the mobile application to best protect consumer privacy. It starts with the fact that the application only scans the main number on the front of the card — it’s not taking a picture of the whole card. In addition, the card scan image and all card data is automatically deleted from the merchants phone as soon as each transaction is submitted. From an end-to-end platform perspective, Flint has built secure systems and partnered with industry leaders to ensure that data is protected according to industry PCI DSS guidelines.

CCPnet: Anything else you’d like to public to know?

Goldfarb: There’s a very strong trend towards more and more on-the-go small businesses that need help with two very important things — collecting payments promptly and finding new customers. Essentially, we help them solve two core problems with one seamless app. The combination of very simple credit card acceptance with effective social marketing tools is a very powerful one, and we are proud to help small business owners grow their businesses.

Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2012