Obopay inked one of the biggest deals in the mobile payments sector yesterday: Verizon Wireless will now offer a BREW-based Obopay application on its Get It Now catalog. FierceWireless had a chance to catch up with Obopay's vice president of product management, Irv Henderson at the BREW Show in San Diego.
"The Verizon Wireless announcement is big for us. We are the first mobile payments solution that has been deployed on a Tier 1 carrier [in the U.S.]," Henderson said. "It signals to the rest of the industry that mobile payments are being taken seriously by the carriers, and it's certainly making conversations [with other carriers] easier for us."
While Obopay has always worked on Verizon Wireless devices, the official deal with the carrier brings an extra feature: "Obopay works on any device, anywhere and anytime… but this deal with Verizon brings with it another first for us: mobile registration," Henderson said. Prior to this deal, all new Obopay users needed to register from their PCs, but Verizon Wireless users will be able to directly sign up from their mobile phone if they are using the BREW application. Obopay also launched another WAP version of its application, but the new one mirrors the "look and feel" of the BREW application.
"Our BREW-based application offers a much more compelling user experience" than previous Obopay applications, Henderson said. "The new look is a lot cleaner graphically and navigationally. I wouldn't say that BREW made [developing the application] any easier, but using the BREW client definitely makes the service more approachable for end users. However, it's worth noting that BREW is a good development environment," Henderson said.
Obopay has not announced the official launch date of the BREW application for Verizon Wireless subscribers, but the company expects to launch it in "the coming weeks" after it makes a few "final touches."
Obopay also announced a half dozen new merchant partners for its mobile payments service: media services provider Xringer, mobile recycling program RIPMobile, online marketplace provider Chegg.com, mobile gaming platform developer Exit Games and mobile search and advertising firm 4INFO.
For more on Obopay's announcement:
- read this press release