When Braintree bought Venmo for $26.2 million in August what it got was a peer-to-peer payments provider that replicated the ease of a PayPal money transfer within its mobile apps. But two months ago, Braintree started tweaking Venmo’s technology as a payment identity tool on iOS, called Venmo Touch.
A beta project with three of its customers — TaskRabbit, HotelTonight and Wrapp – Venmo Touch allowed you to transfer credit card info from iPhone app to iPhone app, preventing customers from having to re-enter their credit card info every time they did business with a new brand or downloaded a new app. Instead, a customer could just hit the Venmo payment button and enter his or her credit card security code.
Now Braintree is taking Venmo Touch out of beta and offering it to all of its customers (though still only in iOS), and it’s using it as recruitment tool to get new ones. Traditionally Braintree has been the payments processor for e-commerce startups like Airbnb, Uber and Rovio, but now it wants to move into brick-and-mortar retail – or at least power the m-commerce transactions for traditional brick-and-mortar brands. Through a new partnership with Branding Brand — which builds mobile apps for the likes of American Eagle Outfitters, Costco and Crate & Barrel – it hopes to embed Venmo Touch in some pretty high-volume retail apps.
Chicago-based Braintree is already starting to see a big uptick in mobile transactions: $2 billion of its $8 billion in annual transactions are now coming from mobile apps and mobile websites.