Cause Mobile Wallet Helps You Give to Your Favorite Charity


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1. What is your startup called?

Our company is called Cause Mobile Wallet. We are a morally-conscious payment processing platform that re-directs existing dollars to the charity of your choice with each transaction. The donation comes out of the merchant service fee (which companies are already paying) and gets redirected the charity of choice. We have a developed a free, downloadable app that allows consumers to purchase goods and services with their smart phones at participating Cause merchants. A percentage of each transaction will go to the charity or school that the consumer has chosen from our list of pre-vetted organizations. Again, the donations come from the merchant service fees, so it is absolutely free to the consumer, and merchants pay no more than what they are currently paying in transaction fees.

rsz_incontentad22. What’s your big idea?

Our mission (or big idea) is to create sustainable funding for the charities and schools that need it most. Charities and schools are under-funded. All too often, we see charities asking for donations, children selling products to raise money for their school, and events being thrown to ask for even more money. We’ve developed the solution that redirects existing dollars into the hands of those who need it most. By participating in Cause, charities and schools can have something they’ve never had before, a sustainable flow of income. This will provide the opportunity to focus on what is most important such as, finding a cure, saving a life, educating our children, and making the world a better place. With over $6 trillion transactions processed annually, even a small fraction will make a huge impact. Just imagine…

3. Who are the founders?

The company was officially founded in January 2013 by two neighbors, Brad Barton and Brian Kelly, but the idea has been cultivating for a few years. Barton is the former Vice President of Bartco Lighting. Kelly owned a construction company, and before that he worked in software development and web design in San Francisco.

4. What’s the story behind the idea?

Both founders had separate experiences that seeded this big idea. Brian spent five months in 1984 living in a remote village in the north of the Ivory Coast in Africa as his father, a surgeon, worked in a small hospital on a medical mission. Brian was struck not only by the severe poverty of the people but how little money it actually took to provide healthcare and basic nutrition for people in the area.

Similarly, while Brad was participating in a study abroad program, Semester at Sea, he visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (formerly known as Saigon) and came across a group of doctors working for a charity called “Smile Train.” He was stunned when they told him that it only costs $15 to positively change a child’s life forever – which drove home the same lesson that Brian had learned.

Flash forward to recent years. Brad and Brian, now neighbors, both realized how much money was running through the “corporate system” and how little of that money ever helps those in need. It’s a constant battle for non-profits to raise the necessary funding needed to achieve their goals and positively impact the world. In addition, consumers become fatigued by constant donation requests. Along with their usual living expenses, people are also expected to give money to childrens’ fundraisers (buy cookies, wrapping paper, magazines, etc.), donate to charity, and attend events to raise money. It’s a seemingly, never-ending cycle.

This is where the idea for Cause came about. It’s a way to give back without paying any additional money, merely redirecting existing dollars.

5. Where are you located?

We just opened our corporate office in Newport Beach, CA. Newport is considered the “hub of charitable giving” in Orange County, and therefore the perfect area for Cause to take root and flourish.

6. What’s the startup scene like there?

There are not very many tech startups in Orange County, but there are definitely a lot of charities. In addition to being Orange County locals, the large amount of charitable giving is why we’ve chosen to set up our headquarters here, rather than being lost in the clutter of LA.

7. What milestones have you reached?

To date, we’ve set up our main office, signed a strategic partnership with Merchant e-Solutions to provide merchant processing, developed the app, and recently, our app was approved by Apple to be available in the App Store.

8. What are your next milestones?

Our next milestones are the release of the Android version of the app, which should be by the end of the month, and to build a strong network of Cause merchants and customers who care about funding their favorite charities.

9. Where can we find out more?

You can visit our website,, for more information or email us with any questions: Also, be sure to look for Cause Mobile Wallet in the app store!

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.”


Apple Leaves Finger Print Scanner, TouchID Untouchable To Developer’s And Startups

Apple, iPhone 5S, TouchID, developers, startups, mobile wallet


Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, alongside executives Jony Ive and Phil Schiller, took to the stage today at their Cupertino headquarters to unveil the new iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. If you’re a frequent reader of technology blogs, you’ll notice that most of the leaked specs actually came to fruition.

Normally when we are building up to an Apple product release there are several “features” that may seem a little outlandish. Often times they don’t actually pan out. In fact there were 127 rumors of Apple changing phone sizes over the years. Only one time were they actually correct.

One of those rumors this year was a “finger print scanner” that would somehow be baked into the new iPhone. Many pundits said no-way was Apple going to put a finger print scanner on their phone. Well they have. Which actually makes a whole lot of sense after seeing leaked photos of a new home button.

As you can see from TheVerge’s photo above the home button now dubs as a fingerprint scanner. When talking about it on stage, Apple execs said that it provides a new layer of security for those who feel a 4 digit code is too “cumbersome”. Of course a finger print scanner also provides an extra layer of security for people who typically use easy to guess four digit codes.

The finger print scanner, dubbed “touch ID,” can work with multiple finger prints, and with any kind of human finger print it takes into account arches, loops, and whorls. CSI Las Vegas fans, you know  what I’m talking about.

In this generation of the iPhone, the TouchID is seen strictly as a security layer for the walled garden within your iPhone. Apple did say you will be able to use your finger print to authorize purchases from the iTunes store. They didn’t say whether you would be able to use it to validate in store purchases with the Apple store app, but that is very possible.

What Schiller was very specific about, though, was that the TouchID information would not be available to other software. Period.  It’s never uploaded to Apple’s servers or backed up to iCloud. The Verge’s Dieter Bohn reported in their live blog.

What is possible is that Apple’s Passbook and future apps designed around security and purchasing will most likely benefit from access to the TouchID, but for now startups hoping to disrupt the mobile wallet with a tie-in to Apple’s Touch ID will find it, well, untouchable.


Starbucks Paying The Way For Mobile Payments

Starbucks, Mobile Wallet, Mobile Payments, Startups, Boosterville

No one will ever own a computer in their home.

No one will ever put a phone in their car.

No one will ever need Microsoft Word on their phone.

No one will ever pay for things using their phone.

All of those statements have been proven wrong by technology. The last one–proven wrong both by technology and by America’s favorite coffee shop, Starbucks.

Through their mobile app and their easy to use pay-at-counter system, Starbucks is now reporting that 1 in 10 purchases is paid for by mobile app, the company’s Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman reported during their earnings call on Friday. In addition to the growth of paying by mobile, loyalty cards were up 30% year over year, which is also tied into their mobile app.

This is great news for startups like Dwolla, Boosterville, Paytango and the countless others that are relying on people moving from physical wallet to digital wallet.

Starbucks is leading the way in terms of mobile payments at huge retail chains, but Paypal is actually breaking into the mainstream as well. Paypal account holders can now integrate their Paypal Mobile app with a phone pin (set up in app) and pay for their purchases at the checkout at places like Home Depot, Champs, Babies R Us, Dollar General and several other retail establishments.

Some entrepreneurs, like Boosterville CEO and co-founder Pam Cooper, are integrating mobile services a la Starbucks. With the Boosterville app, mobile wallet and loyalty & rewards are being integrated for fundraising.

While mobile payments are on the rise, startups like PayTango are taking it to another level with biometric wallets. Services like PayTango, which is currently beta testing in Pittsburgh and California, allow users to pay for things using their finger print. At CES earlier this year we met with a startup that is hoping to use retina scanning technology for payments as well.

Sometimes all it takes is one big name (Starbucks) to adopt a technology. Before too long, even grandma will think it’s normal to pay from her phone.


Pittsburgh Startup PayTango Moves Mobile Wallet To Your Fingertips

PayTango,Pittsburgh startup,PulseWallet, Mobile Wallet, YCombinatorAs the mobile wallet begins to catch on, the next wave of mobile wallet startups are starting to come alive as well. Back in January we interviewed New Jersey startup PulseWallet at CES 2013 in Eureka Park. There we learned that PulseWallet is working on biometrics to serve as someone’s mobile wallet.

Simply put, with this kind of technology you’ll be able to ditch your credit cards, debit cards, and loyalty cards. Instead, your finger will become your secure wallet. With a finger scan and a pin you’ll be able to pay for anything with any number of payment forms in a much safer, fraud resistant way.

PulseWallet isn’t alone. Biometrics is a hot space as is mobile wallet. Four Carnegie Mellon University students have also recently launched a biometrics based mobile wallet called PayTango.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, using PayTango a customer would swipe there finger and in less than 15 seconds they would be linked to their payment sources.

“We wanted to eliminate the need to carry anything around to identify yourselves. Like you have these plastic credit cards and if you lose them or get the numbers stolen off them, essentially someone could wipe your bank account,” said co-founder Kelly Lau-Kee.

Lau Kee says that credit cards are antiquated and haven’t really evolved in the last 40 years since their introduction. Yes security has gotten better and reconciliation is much more reliable with phone lines and the internet,but storing the information on the magnetic strip is still the same technology today as it was back in the 70’s.

PayTango was brewed in Pennsylvania. All four founders; Brian Groudan, Umang Patel, Christian Reyes and Lau-Kee, are all either seniors or recent graduates of Carnegie Mellon. They conceived the idea in the fall of 2012 for a TechLab startup course at CMU and then continued working on it during the University of Pennsylvania’s PennApps Hackathon.

The technology is currently up and running at three eateries on the Carnegie Mellon campus. For the live beta at CMU, over 700 students have registered their fingerprint which was linked to their student ID which has their meal plan attached. To eat at those eateries, students in the beta just swipe their finger at checkout.

Now they’ve relocated to Mountain View California after being accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program.  They’ve already expanded PayTango into gyms, restaurants and convenience stores in Silicon Valley.

What they’re doing is bringing a very simple idea into reality,” said Garry Tan, a partner at Y Combinator. “Payments should be easier, and we’re now capable of doing it without fancy cards or readers or anything besides what we carry around with us all the time right now — our fingerprints.”

Find out more about PayTango here 

Now check out New Jersey startup PulseWallet