Birmingham-based technology business Droplet marked its London launch inÂ style by announcing it has sealed the backing of two major retailers.
Chiltern Railways and Airparks were unveiled as the first nationalÂ organisations to adopt the companyâ€™s mobile payment platform across itsÂ network of trains and airport parking locations.
This is a major milestone for the app, which allows people to load moneyÂ onto their phones and send payments for free.
The national deals build on an extremely positive beta trial in Birmingham,Â which has seen 2500 users and 60 merchants adopt Droplet as a paymentÂ method.
â€œOur vision is to change the way the world uses money, starting withÂ payments,â€ explained Steffan Aquarone, who started the business with Will Grant afterÂ discussions in a Birmingham coffee shop.
â€œWe think that payments should be free because there are no actual costsÂ involved in moving money around. The web is particularly good at de-bunkingÂ closed systems and Droplet leverages the power of the internet to do toÂ payments what Skype did to international calls.
â€œWeâ€™ve proved it works with the trials in Birmingham, but if we are to continueÂ the roll-out we need to attract the national retail chains and this is what weâ€™veÂ been negotiating over the last couple of months.â€
He continued: â€œGetting Chiltern Railways and Airparks on board is fantasticÂ news and we are currently in discussions to agree further deals.â€
The two national retailers have been impressed with the â€˜zero transactionâ€™ feeÂ offered by Droplet and the ability to build additional features into the App toÂ increase brand loyalty, send out special offers and improve customer service.
Both organisations will be offering the mobile payment method to theirÂ customers by the end of April.
â€œAt Chiltern Railways weâ€™re keen on embracing new technology, but notÂ simply for its own sake,â€ explained Thomas Ableman, Commercial Director atÂ Chiltern Railways.
â€œDroplet solves a problem for us in the cost and limitations of credit cardÂ machines. All our staff have company phones, so we donâ€™t need any extraÂ hardware to start taking payment with Droplet across our business.â€
Oliver Ashford of Airparks was equally supportive: â€œWhen youâ€™ve parked yourÂ car and youâ€™re on the way to the airport, the last thing you want to do is phoneÂ our offices and read out credit card details, name, address and inside leg
â€œThe Droplet Tool weâ€™re working on will let people shop for Meet and GreetÂ and valet services using the App on their phone â€“ anywhere in the world.â€
Dropletâ€™s initial success with people has been down to its ease of use andÂ the attraction of choosing an alternative to banking and credit card systems.Â However the London launch marks the introduction of some of its â€˜killerÂ featuresâ€™.
Droplet Tools is the â€˜platformâ€™ that allows developers to build customisedÂ features for merchants so they can offer extra things to people who pay withÂ the App.
Will Grant, Chief Technical Officer at Droplet, picked up the story: â€œThisÂ ranges from helping people get everything together for an evening out,Â dispatching virtual goods in seconds, or allowing customers to order withoutÂ leaving their seats.
â€œThe â€˜Toolsâ€™ bring about the true potential of mobile commerce and an end toÂ the frustrating barriers people usually experience paying via mobile.â€
The London launch event provided an overview of the App and a guide toÂ Droplet Tools. It was followed by a meet and greet with the team.
Later in the Spring, the company will announce a funding round and beginÂ a rollout to other major cities across the UK, including Bristol, Manchester,Â Leeds and Liverpool.