Last year I mentioned on this blog that I found Bump an innovative product. With Bump you can exchange information (e.g. contact information or files) between two cellphones by bumping them against each other. A competitor of Bump is Hoccer. With Hoccer you don’t bump but you “throw” data to a phone and the other one has to “catch” it. Though both products are quite innovative and have a certain cool factor, I guess they haven’t had much practical use yet. You don’t go and ask somebody you meet can you Bump me your contact details, because probability is high that the other person doesn’t know what Bump is.
You have your phone always with you. So it would be handy if you can use it to pay certain things e.g. your tab at a bar, your groceries, the parking meter. Paying with your mobile is also a holy grail already for many years. Several things have been tried. With most you have to sign up to some service and after that you can pay with SMS . Other initiatives require NFC (Near Field Communication) chips, but very few phones have NFC chips at the moment. So far these initiatives have not really caught on because they are not really handy.
Bump did a very clever thing by opening their API for 3rd parties (open is usually a good idea if you want your product or service to spread) and stroke a deal with Paypal. So if you now install a PayPal app on your iPhone or Android you can transfer money to another person by simply bumping your phones against each other. I can see something like that also work for paying drinks in a bar, parking meters, small shops etc.
As the number of smart phones is quickly growing Paypal+Bump might have a change to disrupt big existing players in this areas such as banks and credit card companies. What do you think of this?
Below a video on how Bumping money works