ALTERNATIVE PAYMENTS WELCOMED BY CUSTOMERS

Updated: 10/03/2008 16:00
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This week DEMOgala event hosted by the Colorado Software and Internet Association showcased Colorado tech companies and focused on companies

This week DEMOgala event hosted by the Colorado Software and Internet Association showcased Colorado tech companies and focused on companies nationwide engaged in alternative payment methods and websites that help people monitor their spending and investments. Among the panelists there were such companies as Mint .com, eBillme.com and Rudder.com.

The topic of the discussion was an increasing popularity of alternative payments with customers in the current tough economy environment. The panelists said that their business is seeing a growing number of users.

"In tough economic times, it's a challenge for customers to save money and cut back spending," said Aaron Patzer, founder and chief executive of Mint.com, a San Francisco-based company that received $12 million in venture capital in March.

The tightening credit markets as the main factor that is pushing people to use alternative payment services was also cited by Marwan Forzley, founder of Canada-based eBillme.com, which allows customers to make online purchases using cash or debit cards. The advantage of the service is that eBillme prompts customers to go to their bank's website to make a payment rather than to a credit-card number. As soon as the payment is completed the purchase is shipped.

All the three panelists said that companies with solid ideas and plans are welcomed by many venture capitalists. Last month as we know eBillme gained a $12 million investement.

Houston-based Rudder.com sends alerts to users via e-mail eliminating the necessity to log on to a website to check the status of their financial health. The site, launched last month, received $2 million in funding last December.

"Personal finance is like cleaning your closet ? no one wants to do it ? so that presents a challenge to those of us in this business. So logging into a website, people are not going to do it," said founder and chief executive Nikhil Roy. "People want to make quick decisions. There's a trend that's shifting toward mobile banking."


About the author

Brett Sherpan has been working for seven years writing and editing for online and print media. He has held various editing and copywriting positions and can quickly and competently write copy for sales, marketing and editorial content. Brett is a consistently dependable team player, who thrives in a high-pressure environment, enjoying the challenges of meeting deadlines and am comfortable researching, writing and editing on a wide range of topics
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