SWAGG

What is this? In a nutshell it seems to be a software app that provides for consolidation and creation of pre-paid gift cards. Allowing gift card bar code to be displayed on a cell phone screen so it can be scanned by merchants.

19March 2010

Previous Posts

  • http://tomnoyes.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/att-visa-prepaid/
  • http://tomnoyes.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/obopay-and-firethorne/

What is this? In a nutshell it seems to be a software app that provides for consolidation and creation of pre-paid gift cards. Allowing gift card bar code to be displayed on a cell phone screen so it can be scanned by merchants.

From the SWAGG website we see:

GIVE
Plastic is lame. You’re not.
SWAGG lets you create a personal digital gift and send it to your friend’s mobile device.

GET
Get hooked up. Way up.
SWAGG stays on tops of your favorite brands so you’ll always be the first to know what’s fresh.

GO
Your wallet is full. Of crap.
SWAGG files all your membership and loyalty points neatly under one button.

QCOM CEO, Paul Jacobs comments at CES “”It lets us conduct all sort of transactions on the go…So we can purchase and personalize gift cards, share them with our friends, exchange them with stores we like better. We can use them to buy stuff wherever we are. We can receive personalized offers, We can get loyalty points, manage our rewards programs.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zgfn-_lXo0U]

SWAG stands for “stuff we all get.” … sounds much more interesting than Firethorn’s initial mobile balance checking application. I’m a little disappointed this isn’t more NFC focused given QCOM’s tremendous IP portfolio. In this “bar code” model, I can’t help but wonder about conflict w/ Apple’s broad payment patent here

http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/26/apple-patents-iphone-tech-wire-bc_1227appatent.html

Obopay and Firethorn

Spoke to most of the top 5 US banks this week. Neither Obopay nor Firethorn will have any traction at the top US banks.

2 March 2010

Related posts

Spoke to most of the top 5 US banks this week. Interesting to note that Firethorn is out of all of them.. even in the model where Firethorn paid one of the majors $1M to take the application and integrate it. As of the latest QCOM 10-Q we can now see that total Firethorn revenue was $3M for the 2009 YEAR!  Wow.. no wonder Len lost his head for buying this thing and making it a separate division.

QCOM and Firethorn have a new product planned:  SWAGG (www.swagg.com). Good luck trying to figure out what this thing is.. could this be associated with Visa/ATT? (Youtube here). There seems to be a pre-paid debit card associated with it (from Dr. Jacobs CES presentation). Hey QCOM is one of my favorite companies… the people there are absolutely brilliant. But the Firethorn team is adopted.. and therefore the  genes do not extend here. They need a top exec to drive this thing.

On another note, Obopay showed up to at least one of the top 3 banks last month (BankX) touting its mobile payment solution. Undoubtedly with “millions” of subscribers (actual estimated at less then 20k). Always interesting to see spin here, they also reportedly told BankX that Citi’s departure was only temporary. Other banks should ask them to get specific.. very specific.. (probably not the US and there is no commitment on use).

From compete.com (Hard to spin facts..8,000 unique visits last month .. estimate only 20% use the service)

The “big secret” in mobile payments is that there aren’t any… (with very few exceptions). Those exceptions usually deliver “payments” as part of an existing value proposition (see  MNOs will rule in Emerging Markets). Banks know that changing consumer behavior is a 20 year effort. Card based payment schemes have particularly high hurdles in emerging markets due to interchange rates and rules that are ill suited for low value payments by unbanked. Toward this end countries such as India are contemplating the development of new domestic payment networks.

Thought for the day

RBIs Payments Vision 2012