Card.io, a mobile commerce company founded by two former AdMob employees, Mike Mettler and Josh Bleecher Snyder, launched a software development kit (SDK) for Android this week. The company’s free mobile payment solution allows consumers to process mobile payments without any extra hardware. Instead of entering the credit card information manually, it is retrieved automatically when the customer holds its card in front of the phones camera. For security reasons card.io doesn’t save the credit card data or image and uses a SSL encryption to communicate with its servers.
The solution is quite successful, since its iOS platform launch in June over 80 apps, including e-commerce, local, retail, ticketing, travel, and daily deal apps have integrated the card.io SDK. A major advantage over its competitors like Google Wallet or PayPal is that it does not require consumers to change their habits or hardware. The problem is that if mobile wallets succeed and put an end to physical cards it will also render optical readers obsolete.