Amp’d Adds Mobile Payments With Obopay

Youth MVNO Amp’d and mobile payment startup Obopay have signed up to put a mobile payment system on Amp’d phones. “Through an application on their handset, Amp’d Mobile subscribers will be able to easily receive, send and spend money anywhere, anytime.”
The two companies will promote the service both to Amp’d customers and on university campuses across the US this fall. There is also a service which allows “e-commerce sites to accept payments directly from Obopay accounts. Rather than complicated credit card numbers and expiration dates, Obopay account holders would simply enter their Amp’d Mobile phone number and a passcode to complete a transaction”. I’m pretty sure system this has to be set up by the e-commerce site but Obopay is promising lower transaction fees.
“Our subscribers nationwide will now have the opportunity to revolutionize the way they handle their finances, managing their entire account on their phone and exchanging money with friends instantly through their mobile device. It’s the perfect service for our customer’s mobile centric lifestyle,” said Mike McSherry, SVP of Emerging Technologies at Amp’d Mobile.
It may be the perfect service, but any new payment system has the problem of getting critical mass, and Amp’d certainly doesn’t have that yet — and it will probably be a while before it does. Offering a mobile payment service isn’t going to do any damage, and Amp’d does have the advantage that it’s user base is early adopter — the sort of people who are most likely to use the service.
One final comment from Carol Realini, CEO and Founder of Obopay: “The mobile phone will do for money, what the iPod has done for music; making it instantly accessible and personalized.” I think that’s a long bow to draw…
Background on OBopay here in this SiliconBeat story, and more about mobile payment in our dedicated section here.