Owe your friend $20? There's no need to go to an ATM. Just bump him the money.
Starting today, sending money can be easier than ever with the launch of Bump Pay, a new iPhone app from the makers of the popular contact and photo sharing service Bump.
If you've used Bump, you already know how to send money with the new app: you simply tap your iPhone against your friend's, and the cash gets sent (see video below).
For Bump Pay to work, both you and your friend need to have the app and a PayPal account. And the first time you use it, you have to enter the e-mail address for your PayPal account and your PayPal password.
But then, sending the money is as simple as typing in how much you want to send, bumping phones, and then confirming the transaction.
"We as a team would go to lunch together, and one person would always forget their wallet, or one person had to settle the bill," said Bump co-founder Dave Lieb of the origins of Bump Pay. "Traditionally, you'd have to figure out [who owed who] later on, and we found ourselves frustrated that we had to wait. So one of our developers built this as an internal tool."
After that, the app went viral inside Bump's offices, and seeing that, the team decided that it might make sense to build out the app into something that could be useful for the world at large.
In fact, Bump Pay is the first tool to emerge from Bump's internal Bump Labs initiative. "The general idea around Bump Labs...is that we have this really popular app," Lieb said, "and we want to be able to test out some new innovative things that may apply to the Bump app, or may be whole new apps."
To make Bump Pay as useful as possible to a mass audience, the company worked hand in hand with PayPal to ensure that any two users of the app could send money to each other with no fuss and no fees--which is true as long as both users have their PayPal account linked to a bank account.
Lieb knows that some people are solving the problem of sending friends cash on the fly with Square, but he also thinks that Bump Pay is an entirely different play, given its simplicity and limited scope.
Security is your choice
Bump Pay users can choose how secure they want the app to be. They can choose to enter their PayPal password once and have the app remember it, or they can choose to enter their password every time.
Lieb said that Bump decided to give users that choice because the company is interested in giving people the easiest and simplest user experience possible. If someone wants the additional security of entering their password every time, they can select that option, but it's not the default. Lieb also said that he feels the default setting is secure enough given that many people now have password protected iPhones to begin with.
For now, the service only works with PayPal, but Lieb said that it's possible Bump may add additional payment services in the future. Another feature that could come--if users demand it--is a built-in payment calculator so that lunch partners know who owes what.