Chirpify's Founder Building a Web Payment Gateway
Chris Teso of Chirpify is dreaming of a day when you can sign into any website using your Twitter login and pay anyone, including a merchant or a friend, without entering a credit card number or account information.
The Portland, Ore. entrepreneur calls the process "open ID." You can think of it as similar to signing into a website with only your Facebook account.
Chirpify already has tens of thousands of users that have signed up for its service, which lets people link their Twitter handles to their PayPal accounts. Users tweet specific instructions, such as 'Buy T-shirt,' to merchants. The merchants in many cases have tweeted offers to buy specific goods.
"To hook up multiple payment platforms to it and at the same time hook up multiple identities" is the mission, says Teso, the company's founder and CEO. "Once you have that, we become a portable open ID for payments."
Teso is one of three people on a two-hour "future of payments" panel today hosted by KCNext, the Technology Council of Greater Kansas City.
He began his company in May 2011 after founding and later leaving web design and app development company The Good.
Teso launched the Chirpify service in February. In early March, at the SXSW music festival in Austin, the company, along with Portland Ad agency tenfour and PR-firm partner Waggener Edstrom, launched an app where users could tweet one another beers paid for with a PayPal account leveraging Chirpify's platform.
In April, Chirpify raised roughly $1.3 million in Series A financing led by Voyager Capital.
Today the company is enabling record labels and political campaigns to collect cash using the social network messaging system.
"Tweeting is social, so there are all sorts of things [that] we are seeing," says Teso.
He says the company is chatting with several banks, some national and some regional, in the hopes of partnering to allow people to Tweet funds to one another using credit and debit cards.
"We really want to open [Chirpify] up, to let a consumer attach any kind of payment device," he says. "So we will become more of a payments platform."