Thursday, April 12, 2012

Social Mobile Payments

by Meghann on April 12, 2012

We survived! The 2012 Social Mobile Payments Conference has come to an end and so far the reviews are good! Success!

For those of you who were curious…. “Social Mobile Payments” is the broad term used to describe the process of accepting payments via your smartphone either by app, swipe card, etc. For instance, let’s say you purchase food from a food truck and pay via an app on your cellphone that is connected to your PayPal account and send money directly to the food truck – that was a mobile payment. (I actually did this in Austin)

Of course – as I learned this week – that is just the beginning. Mobile payments via cash systems that are directly connected to your smartphone are HUGE in Europe and slowly growing over here. Yesterday the marketing director for Paypal shared new trends they’re projecting for their own future in the space (picture using your PayPal account to pay in store using the debit/credit card machine) and today we heard from the founder of Dwolla who claimed that credit cards are dying a slow death and mobile cash payments are the future.

There was also an interesting session from CSI – the company, not crime scene investigation – which markets a product that allows employers to send virtual one time use credit card numbers to employees to purchase airline tickets, office supplies, etc., and Jonathan Stark spoke yesterday about his experience with ‘Jonathan’s Card‘ where he created a pay-it-forward system with a Starbucks Rewards card that encouraged coffee drinkers around the US to use the card to buy a drink, but also encouraged them to add funds to the card to keep the movement flowing. Over the course of a month the card raised over $8,000 and paid for 900 coffee drinks before Starbucks shut the card down. The effort was only made possible because of a screen shot Jonathan grabbed of his card and shared with the web. The screen shot of the card allowed Starbucks fans to show the the card via their smart phone to pay for the drink with the pay-it-forward funds.

Like I said, interesting stuff. I only wish I had heard more from some of the European speakers, I heard this sessions were crazy interesting as well since it’s a completely different market over there!

The Social Mobile Payments Conference was the brainchild of the husband/wife team: Bruce and Deb Burke.


(we’re missing Bruce in the photo!)

They only brought me in a couple of months ago to handle coordinating the sponsors, registration, and the hotel, but they were the true rockstars behind the conference. Three cheers to Bruce and Deb for a successful first show!!

Ok. On with the food!


I had the last 1/3 of a Clif bar around 11 to hold me over until lunch.


Lunch was the Portofino Platter Buffet, which – shhhhh – was part of the “Fit and Light” catering menu.


That wasn’t on purpose. The buffet option was just the best deal for what we got, but “healthy” or not, this food was good. The majority of the attendees raved about the buffet and even went back for seconds. They appreciated the change from the normal sandwich bar and – when they’re happy – we’re happy.

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I agree – the food was really, really good. If you’re planning a conference in the Orlando area -may I suggest the Marriot Orlando World Center? Not only was the food good, but the customer service we received through the event was top notch AND the rates were all fairly competitive. They won me over.




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I tried a little bit of everything. I had high hopes for the mini cannoli, but it was too much shell and not enough filling! Don’t they know the filling is the best part?


Afternoon snacks included the rest of the bag of pretzels and a mini cheeseburger one of the neighboring events I befriended shared with me from their reception.

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I left the hotel around 6:00, but wasn’t terribly hungry when I arrived home in Tampa.


I made a light dinner that consisted of a peanut butter, cherry, and chocolate protein smoothie


And a bowl of edamame that I shared with Derek.


It feels good to be home! It feels even better knowing I don’t have to go anywhere else for at least another week. 😉

Good Night!

*I updated the wedding page today! Check out the story behind choosing my bridesmaids!*

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