Over 70 percent of global internet users do not have a credit card, but more than three billion people have mobile phones. Paymo hopes to extend Web commerce to this large market with credit-card-free mobile payments. "In today's challenging global economic environment we can't afford to exclude 70 percent of consumers from participating in the online marketplace," said Paul McGuire, CEO and co-founder of Paymo. "With Paymo, online merchants can open their sites to new consumers and revenue opportunities,” McGuire added. “Consumers who don't have or who don't want to use their credit cards online, now have a safe and secure way to shop online, without the need for sign-ins, usernames, or


Currently Paymo is used primarily for online gaming and social networks. Payment is made via a website’s Paymo button. Users make their purchase and a confirmation text, which requires response, is sent to their phone. Transactions are limited to $100 dollars a month, which can be paid via a pre-paid balance or added to a phone bill.

Paymo officially launched in the U.S. last month. It “is well positioned," said Forrester analyst Ed Kountz.

"The company is picking and choosing the right opportunity," Kountz said.

Gartner analyst Tole Hart believes Paymo must expand beyond its gaming and social network target market, but “it he has a clear field ahead of [it] with no competition."

“The field has numerous players, but what Paymo offers is unique, because it is not just a localized service,” Hart added. "Paymo is different and has a significant track record of experience."

What differentiates Paymo from other mobile payment platforms is its broad global spread. The company expects to reach a market of about 2 billion consumers by fall. It is currently live in 45 countries, and recently partnered with the social network Hi5.

"No one's been able to reach literally billions of consumers. All these providers produced local coverage for a few markets. We are the world's first truly global payment system," McGuire said.

Juniper Research predicts that North American mobile payments will grow from $5.3 million in 2008 to $54.9 million by 2013, and that global mobile payments will exceed $300 billion by 2013.

By Mark Alvarez