Magazine article American Banker

M-Via Grows Its Global Mobile Payments Network

Magazine article American Banker

M-Via Grows Its Global Mobile Payments Network

Article excerpt

Byline: Sean Sposito

Bill Barhydt is jet-lagged in an outdoor cafe when he texts an American Banker reporter a cent.

The chief executive of m-Via, a Palo Alto, Calif. start-up, has spent the past four years developing a low-cost mobile payments system and telling people around the world about it. He recently returned from Port-Au-Prince where he taught rebuilding villagers about m-Via and its new checking account called Boom.

m-Via rolled out Boom at the beginning of the year. Since then, Barhydt has been traveling between Los Angeles, Mexico City and Miami promoting the technology.

This week, he's in the Big Apple talking to visiting Mexican dignitaries and associations of Latin American immigrants. Later this year, the company will launch an app for Google's (GOOG) Android mobile phone platform. That will allow Boom users more ways to access their funds. The company also plans to add remote deposit capture technology that will give members the ability to snap pictures of checks they want to deposit.

Today, Boom users can only load cash into their accounts at participating retailers such as 7-Eleven, at merchant associations and at Cardtronics' financial services kiosks.

"Most people operating in the mobile payments space aren't really solving a problem," says Barhydt, a New Jersey native who got an undergraduate computer science degree from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and then went on to work at NASA, the CIA, Goldman Sachs (GS) and Netscape. …

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