Ben Milne Threw Away Cash, What It Means For Startups Like Dwolla

Ben Milne, Dwolla, Des Moines startup, mobile walletPlastic credit cards and debit cards have taken over a lot of people’s use of cash. More often than not, when I’m walking in a major city and I’m asked by a homeless person for money, my go to (and true) reason for not giving a guy a quarter or a dollar is I simply don’t carry cash.

Now, mobile wallet startups are starting to replace credit cards. Pocket loads are shrinking thanks to startups like Dwolla and PayTango and companies like Google and Paypal. And things are only going to get easier, at least for some.

While speaking at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas this week, Business Insider reports that Milne told an interesting story to the audience. He mistakenly threw away cash because he thought it was an old burrito wrapper.

“I reached into my pocket the other day and felt crumpled paper in there,” Milne told the audience. “I thought I had absentmindedly put my burrito wrapper from lunch in there, but it was actually some dollar bills.”

Milne was speaking about how easy money transactions are going to be.

For years Paypal has been the leader in the digital payments space. Millions of people have Paypal, and now with Paypal’s mobile app you can send someone money via the service in just seconds. If they have one of Paypal’s debit cards or they’re signed up for PayPal wallet, users can just as quickly spend the money.  The same is true for Google’s wallet product and the ability to use an Android phone with NFC technology at hundreds of thousands of PayPass locations across the country.

Milne’s own startup Dwolla is making it incredibly easy to send money from one user to another, and they only charge $.25 per transaction (transactions under $10 are free). Milne hopes that sending money via the internet becomes as easy as sending a photo of pop queen Miley Cyrus.

“Our world is already virtual, we just don’t realize it yet,” he said. “If all you have is an Internet connection, you can’t send money around the world very easily, but it’s no problem to send someone a picture of Miley Cyrus. What we’re doing – easy Internet payments – is an inevitability. We may not be the people to do it, though I’m working my ass off to make sure we are.”


Yes Ashton Kutcher Did Invest In Des Moines’ Startup Dwolla


Most people in tune with the startup community have heard of Ben Milne and his payment startup Dwolla.  Milne founded Dwolla in Des Moines and has no plans to take it elsewhere.

Dwolla is making a name for itself by providing a payment system that isn’t dependant on a traditional banking system or credit card backing. It’s this innovative approach to payments and the fact that they’re based in Des Moines that attracted actor and tech investor Ashton Kutcher and his A-list venture fund to Dwolla’s latest Series B round (announced in February).

Although announced in February Kutcher wasn’t formally announced as an investor until earlier today at Startup City Des Moines.

More after the break

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Des Moines Start Up Answers The Question: What Are You Doing Later With ShareWhere

Dylan Hamilton, a Des Moines Iowa entrepreneur has been pondering a question that has yet to be answered. Six years ago Twitter answered the question “What are you doing”. Hamilton, with his start up called ShareWhere, hopes to answer the question “What are you doing later”.

ShareWhere’s purpose is to help the user easily create plans big or small and hopefully replace the hodge podge of texts and emails that traditionally go hand in hand with planning events on the go. Once the plan is hashed ShareWhere than matches those people in your plan with merchants that can help out with the plan.

Sure everyone has a deals program that will help you locate proximity based deals, but that’s not what ShareWhere is all about. The deals ShareWhere users enjoy pertain to the actual plan. For example if you and a group of 10 friends were going bowling, the bowling alley could give you a party room, a personalized discount on pitchers of beer and free shoes. Most deals sites would give you a discount on wings at the place across the street from the bowling alley.

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