Santa Monica startup Kuapay hopes that one day everyone will pay for purchases using their cell phones.
But in order for people to adopt the technology, the company has focused on creating an easy and secure payment system. Kuapay released an update to its mobile wallet app this week to upgrade its features and security measures.
Kuapay operates a mobile wallet, which is essentially an app that stores information about a person’s credit cards. The app generates a QR code – similar to a bar code – that a Kuapay-enabled merchant can scan to complete a sale.
Because Kuapay stores credit card information, it has a number of features in its app to address security. For example, the app requires an access code. It also generates a new QR code every time someone makes a purchase. That way the code can’t be copied and used again.
On Wednesday the company announced that its app can now store information about a person's reward cards, membership cards and gift cards digitally much the way a person might store all those cards in one physical wallet.
"You don't need to worry about pulling out all your credit cards, your coupons or your loyalty cards," said Joaquin Ayuso de Paul, chief executive. "It's all included in the app.”
With the update, the company has also added a map feature so people can find merchants that accept Kuapay.
Merchant adoption will be key for Kuapay as it expands. The company already has competition from PayPal, Google Inc.'s Google Wallet and mobile payment startup Square.
In the last year, Kuapay has gone from acceptance by 40 merchants to 600 in the United States, with a large concentration in Santa Monica. The company has also expanded into international markets.