Request For Startup: Online Payments Suck

online payments

Update: If you look at some of my earlier posts as predictions, I appear to have a decent eye – for the obvious :) Fintech has had a total renaissance with companies like Stripe, Braintree, Venmo and others helping to create fast, developer-first payment solutions.

As I have previously pointed out, consumers still don’t like making payments online, especially for digital good they expect to be free.

Hank Williams expresses similar sentiments, as does Howard Lindzon.

It’s 2008 and the process of buying online is still difficult and cumbersome.  Almost everything that happens online is faster and more efficient than offline, seemingly with the exception of payments. where is the online equivalent to swiping an ATM card?

Here is what I’d like to see a startup build: start with a payment product that allows for making payments at the lowest common denominator. Think about the a hierarchy of infrastructure:

Apple (OS) > Firefox (browser) > Website

The lowest common denominator from above is the browser. What if Firefox managed all my accounts and payment information?

Let me make payments anytime I  log into an approved website. Or even at the OS level – what if Apple (who btw already has my credit card on file via iTunes) let me pay for goods and services?

What I am talking about here is having a dedicated “payment presence” that follows me around — perhaps it works like the OpenID integration with PayPal or Tipjoy.

However, I think it makes more sense for my online payments to be via a service provider I’m already using each time I access the web, like Apple or maybe even Google, PayPal or Amazon. It baffles my why the modern consumers standard is to send people to third-party websites.

Each time I want to make an online purchase I need to create a new account (assuming it’s a first purchase): re-entering credit card information, and remembering logins. It’s a security risk and a pain in the butt!

Someone needs to radically simplify online payments and that startup is going to make a killing. Please call me for investment!


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