Birmingham-based technology business Droplet marked its London launch in style by announcing it has sealed the backing of two major retailers.
Chiltern Railways and Airparks were unveiled as the first national organisations to adopt the company’s mobile payment platform across its network of trains and airport parking locations.
This is a major milestone for the app, which allows people to load money onto their phones and send payments for free.
The national deals build on an extremely positive beta trial in Birmingham, which has seen 2500 users and 60 merchants adopt Droplet as a payment method.
“Our vision is to change the way the world uses money, starting with payments,” explained Steffan Aquarone, who started the business with Will Grant after discussions in a Birmingham coffee shop.
“We think that payments should be free because there are no actual costs involved in moving money around. The web is particularly good at de-bunking closed systems and Droplet leverages the power of the internet to do to payments what Skype did to international calls.
“We’ve proved it works with the trials in Birmingham, but if we are to continue the roll-out we need to attract the national retail chains and this is what we’ve been negotiating over the last couple of months.”
He continued: “Getting Chiltern Railways and Airparks on board is fantastic news and we are currently in discussions to agree further deals.”
The two national retailers have been impressed with the ‘zero transaction’ fee offered by Droplet and the ability to build additional features into the App to increase brand loyalty, send out special offers and improve customer service.
Both organisations will be offering the mobile payment method to their customers by the end of April.
“At Chiltern Railways we’re keen on embracing new technology, but not simply for its own sake,” explained Thomas Ableman, Commercial Director at Chiltern Railways.
“Droplet solves a problem for us in the cost and limitations of credit card machines. All our staff have company phones, so we don’t need any extra hardware to start taking payment with Droplet across our business.”
Oliver Ashford of Airparks was equally supportive: “When you’ve parked your car and you’re on the way to the airport, the last thing you want to do is phone our offices and read out credit card details, name, address and inside leg
“The Droplet Tool we’re working on will let people shop for Meet and Greet and valet services using the App on their phone – anywhere in the world.”
Droplet’s initial success with people has been down to its ease of use and the attraction of choosing an alternative to banking and credit card systems. However the London launch marks the introduction of some of its ‘killer features’.
Droplet Tools is the ‘platform’ that allows developers to build customised features for merchants so they can offer extra things to people who pay with the App.
Will Grant, Chief Technical Officer at Droplet, picked up the story: “This ranges from helping people get everything together for an evening out, dispatching virtual goods in seconds, or allowing customers to order without leaving their seats.
“The ‘Tools’ bring about the true potential of mobile commerce and an end to the frustrating barriers people usually experience paying via mobile.”
The London launch event provided an overview of the App and a guide to 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 begin a rollout to other major cities across the UK, including Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.
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