Startup Traction—Chat App or the Social Payment App
People like to blame smart phones for making us less social. We play chess and poker with a computer that fits in our pocket instead of with friends, and we type addresses into a browser and then let our phones guide us to our destination instead of asking friendly locals for direction. The technophobe might make it about five seconds into his anti-smart phone screed before a phone in the pocket of someone in the room buzzes or pings with a new message on one of the phone’s many Native Chat apps. Popular XMPP Chat apps for smart phones include AstraChat, BlueJabb, and Boogie Chat. Chat apps for smart phones truly are the wave of the future. They are much more than fancy text messages; they help people exchange images, audio, links, video, and even payments.
One can hardly underestimate the effect of social networking via smart phone chat apps on consumer behavior. Consumers use chat apps to boast about purchases, rave about events, and daydream out loud about things they wish they could buy, while businesses use social media chat apps to advertise their products and distribute coupons and other special offers.
The logical next step in the life history of the Native Chat app is the Social payment app. The idea is that, if social transactions can take place through an app, financial transactions among friends can take place there, too. Thus, Social payment apps are sometimes also called peer to peer finance apps. Users build contact lists on the app and can use it to send instant payments to their friends. If you go to lunch with your friend but don’t have your wallet with you, so your friend pays for your burrito, you can instantly reimburse him by using the Social payment app. Given the current over-sharing culture of social media, the app also displays updates about where your friends sent their money.
Social payment apps are clearly the hottest new trend. The logical next step seems to be making a new XMPP Chat app that includes a social payment feature. This way, the generation where everyone has a smart phone can have everything in one place. Instead of daydreaming about spending money in one app and actually spending it in another, the logical thing is to be able to do both in the same app on your smart phone.