In case you haven’t heard, ZoomPass opened its doors on June 15, 2009 for any and all users to sign up and join their service. If you haven’t heard of ZoomPass before, here is a description from their website:
Zoompass is a unique mobile payment service that offers a new way for you to send, receive, and request money quickly and securely, using a mobile device operating on the Bell, Fido, PC Mobile, Rogers, Solo, or TELUS network. With a mobile application that can be downloaded onto your mobile phone and synchronized with your phone’s contact list, you can use Zoompass anytime, anywhere while on the go.
Zoompass funds are held in a stored value account that is linked to your personal bank account or credit card, which makes loading your Zoompass account and transferring money simple and convenient. You can also use the optional Zoompass Prepaid MasterCard® card with PayPass™, linked to your Zoompass account, to make purchases in-store and online or withdraw cash from an ATM.
Innovative stuff eh? Well, I’ve been hoping for something like this for a long time and it has finally come, albeit not in the exact form that I had been looking for, it is a step in the right direction. While I have not actually used the system yet, this is just a quick list of things I like and I don’t like, and hopefully a more in-depth review of the system a little later on, when more users have adopted it and it has gained traction.
What’s to Like?
Thank goodness for this, ZoomPass has three different platforms that allows users to use it in practically all walks of life. There is the ZoomPass website (Similar to Paypal) as well as the mobile application, and the ZoomPass Pre-Paid Mastercard. They are all linked with each other, and you can send payments directly from your mobile application, accept payments from the ZoomPass website, and spend your ZoomPass balance with your Pre-Paid Mastercard.
I feel the Mastercard is a nice little touch until all mobile phones are retrofitted with RFID technology that we can use to pay with at any retailer. Initially, I was skeptical of ZoomPass because I had only heard about the website and the mobile application, because then it was basically Paypal for the phone, but once I discovered that a Pre-Paid Mastercard was also being offered, it seemed like a great idea.
2. Supported by
all most carriers.
On the About page itself, it says that the big three (Rogers, Bell, and TELUS) as well as their budget carriers (Fido, Solo, and Koodo) all support ZoomPass. As the majority of mobile phone users in Canada use one of the big three carriers, ZoomPass makes itself very accessible and easy for almost anyone, anywhere to use.
3. Uses your phone number to send and receive payments.
This is pretty self explanatory, no real need to send using an email or username, just send it to someone’s phone number and they will be the only ones who will see it. Here is the process as described in the FAQ:
You can send money using Zoompass on your mobile phone or logging in to your account on the Zoompass website. To send money, enter the person’s name, mobile number, and the amount and press the Send button. You also have the option of sending money using the funds in your Zoompass account or from your linked credit card instead. A confirmation screen will then appear that asks you to verify the name, amount, and mobile number of the recipient. At this point you can change the information or confirm the transaction.
Seems easy enough.
What’s to Not Like?
1. The Fees!
It’s only natural that there would be fees attached to using ZoomPass, and you can find them here. They seem reasonable, especially since there are three different platforms we can use, as opposed to Paypal. But… what if we compared the core service of ZoomPass of sending money to each other with Paypal?
Paypal has quite a bit more free features, but once again, since there is a mobile component as well as a pre-paid Mastercard, one can’t really complain.
Until you see the fees associated with the Mastercard and the limits imposed on it.
2. Limited to ONLY the big three.
This felt like somewhat of a competitive move from the big three carriers, they had a project going on several years ago called WPS Pay, which quickly dissolved under, what I was told, as disagreements between the big three. And yet here we are, ZoomPass is released in the year that competitors are finally set to enter the Canadian mobile market. Something tells me the new competitors will have quite a delay before ZoomPass is available to their customers.
3. Requires a lot of traction.
This may be true for a lot of businesses, but for ZoomPass to really succeed, they will have to capture mainstream usage from the Canadian market, which is no easy task. Without the traction they need, ZoomPass will never be a necessity to Canadians.
But that’s enough of my nitpicking, I’m hoping to use it and really get some mileage out of it. I’ll use it for a few weeks and really go through what I like and what I don’t like.
Have I missed anything? Leave a comment!