Oiling the wheels of behavioural change

Keith Brown, chief executive of mobile payments service Paythru, declares that his company is ‘not out to change the world’. Instead, he aims to alter consumer behaviour by ‘oiling the wheels’ of change.

Paythru is a mobile payment service that enables people to transact using their mobile phone and existing bank and credit card accounts. Founded in 2009 by Brown and business partner Russell Sheffield the company’s objective is to develop ‘frictionless mobile payments systems’ for both merchants and consumers.

The service is already available in the UK, South Africa, Turkey and Australia, and claims to be the world’s first Level 1 PCI DSS compliant payment method, which is one of the highest classifications of payment card data security.

Clients include charities, parking and ticketing companies, sports clubs and financial service providers. A recent addition has been Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain which has installed Paythru’s technology to enable diners to pay their bills using their mobile phones and their credit cards, rather than wait for wait staff to process the transaction.

Paythru has raised €2.75 million (£2.4 million) to date. The company anticipates profit in first quarter of next year, with an annual revenue of €1.9 million.

Despite recent growth, the company faces intense competition in the mobile payments space, notably from products that internet giant Google and others are developing.

Asked about the challenges facing his company at the European Tech Tour’s Web and Mobility Summit in London this week, Brown replied his business is positioned differently to that of the internet giants and other mobile payment players.

He says, ‘There is a very clear distinction between delivery devices and payments. Payments should be frictionless; we are not actually going out to change behaviour. ‘

‘We are not particularly interested in mobile or act as a delivery mechanism – we are more interested in perpetuating what people are currently doing. And believe or not, there are not that many companies around the world in this space.

‘There is not that many people harvesting existing consuming behaviour and making it exceptional, that’s what wed do. We are not out to change the world – we are out to oil the wheels. We’re out to run on the rails that already exist.’

Todd Cardy

Todd Cardy

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital.

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