CU-Backed Dwolla Launches Mobile Payments App Based On Proximity

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Mobile payments developer Dwolla rolled out a new feature called “Proxi” which allows users to send and receive cash-based mobile payments based on their current proximity to another connected device.

The technology bypasses the need for special hardware, such as Square’s plastic dongles or NFC chips built into a phone, to make mobile payments. Instead, the interface provides a method for Dwolla’s users to find nearby contacts and send them money using only the mobile app itself.

Dwolla is a mobile payments start-up that is financed by Iowa credit unions.

Dwolla is trying to achieve with Proxi the same function NFC makes possible, but without the need for expensive hardware. With NFC there is added security because someone has to be physically present to pay. Proxi uses GPS for that same reason.

When launching Proxi, the mobile app pulls up a list of those who are close to you and able to accept payments, including both nearby users and merchants.

Proxi beta initially will be available on iOS, and will roll out to other mobile platforms (Android, Windows Phone) in coming weeks.


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