Dynamics Disrupts Mobile Payments Industry…AgainApril 19, 2012 4:00 pm ·
At CES this year, I had the privilege of meeting Dynamics founder Jeff Mullen—the nicest guy I met at the tradeshow. At the time, Mullen was showing off his credit cards with a programmable mag stripes. The next generation cards contain an entire computer architecture inside of them and allow customers to turn the credit card on (there’s a literal button on them) and make a selection on the card that will rewrite all of the information on the mag stripe.
The credit cards had already garnered a lot of attention. In fact, Dynamics took the top prize at the 2010 DEMO awards. This year’s DEMO conference is wrapping up in San Francisco as I type; and Mullen and his crew were back on stage. This time they were showing off a product that could disrupt the payments industry even more than Dynamics’ original credit card.
The new mobile payment device (Mullen isn’t calling it a credit card anymore, even though it still looks like one) now has not one, but two, buttons and leverages Dynamics new ePlate system to provides developers (and by developers, I mean businesses) with direct data on customer purchases and gives them a cut of the revenue from each transaction. How will the card do this, you might ask? The ePlate system puts an open computing platform within the credit card and allows developers to develop third-party apps for the card.
I talked to Mullen earlier today. Here’s what he had to say about the ePlate system and mobile payment platform:
“The business model of large banks requires co-branded cards. They need certainty that the brand will exist for decades so they invest with multi-national corporations (think credit cards that give you airline miles) instead of smaller loyalty programs. There are a lot of companies on the periphery that want to get in on the loyalty program business,” Mullen said. “What Dynamics realized is that we can use our credibility to work with the existing players, work with merchants, banks and brands themselves to deliver a consumer product that has no competitor. We created the first ecosystem for payments and gave it a funding source that is larger than the existing infrastructure.”
Essentially, Dynamics will award developers using the company’s platform a certain number of “points” or a quarter of one percent of the transaction. (This equates to about 25 cents on a $100 purchase.) The developer is then able to use that money to offer incentives to the customer for purchasing certain products. As for the end user, she can log in the Dynamics Experience Manager or download the Dynamics Experience app to her mobile phone and select which company/rewards system she wants each of the two buttons on the card to be linked to.
For example, one of the developers already on board to use the ePlate platform is the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. If the end user syncs the Toys for Tots program up with button one on her Dynamics Credit card, she can automatically make a donation to Toys for Tots with every purchase.
“We already have some strong partners on board to develop incentives and applications on the ePlate platform,” Mullen said. “In addition to the Marine Corps, Dark Horse Comics, Upper Deck trading cards, Lemonade Day and Jersey Jack’s Pinballs are also on board. Additionally, Evil Games Genius, Avenue Social and Social Cubix Games have developed games to engage Dynamics mobile payments users.”
According to Mullen, the best thing about the platform is its flexibility. While Jersey Jack’s Pinballs will be offering discounts on their products, they could also offer Dynamics mobile payments users a Starbucks or Target gift card, a credit on their bank statement or any other type of incentive they choose.
“We use the personal data to provide personalized content, coupons and incentives,” Mullen said. “The transaction is no longer the end of the purchase. It’s the beginning of a much greater experience.”
Right now, UMB Financial is the first bank to issue the new ePlate mobile payment system. If you’re a bit confused by all of this information—nay, this potential payment revolution—that’s ok. It’s a lot to digest. For a full demonstration of how the mobile payment system works, take a look at the “Using the Experience Manager” ePlate video on the Dynamics website.
If you’re worried about how secure this credit card will be, watch my video interview from CES with Mullen (below). I’ll admit, I’m a bit leery of giving so much information to developers myself, but with the technology Mullen and his team developed on their original credit card, I have no doubt that he will make the ePlate mobile payment system just as secure.
Watch out, payment industry, Dynamics is about to disrupt your world.