LevelUp is one of many companies engaged in the ever-advancing wallet wars. The payment company's founder, Seth Priebatsch, has told Fast Company he believes LevelUp should only profit when it's actively helping its merchants make money.
Now, he's trying to put his mobile money where his mouth is.
Today, LevelUp is launching White Label, a service that creates custom-branded apps for its merchants. LevelUp already lets you link your credit card to its app, which generates a QR code that you scan at checkout to pay. Now, merchants can either pay $40,000 to $50,000 per platform for the LevelUp team to build them a custom app; or they can pay $5,000 to license a development kit that will let them integrate LevelUp's payment technology into an existing app.
White Label was designed to address a growing interest from merchants in making the mobile payments experience more personal for their customers. Now, it's not just enough for a payments company to simply serve as the vehicle for moving money. As more merchants express interest in apps of their own—remember, Starbucks' app is the most popular way to pay by smartphone—personalization and branding become valuable ways to make the LevelUp customer experience unique from, say, Square's Pay With Square app, whose own customer draw is that it lets you pay merchants just by saying your name at the register—without even having to whip out your phone. As more and more merchants warm to mobile payments, it's increasingly on the payments companies to be not just the money handler, but the creative agency as well.
And no, your new custom payment app doesn't have to be orange.
[Image: Flickr user stormwarning]