Android First to Disrupt Payments

April 10, 2014
Guest Post by Ben Katz and Ron Lin, Founders of QED Investors Portfolio Company CARD.com

iPhone First is the Standard

It’s common to launch new mobile products on iPhone first, and Android later.  A few good arguments for this are here and here and here.  In summary:

1) Android’s fragmentation gives developers major headaches.  Apple’s Walled Garden and standardized devices provide stability.  This is important, as it allows developers to test UI/UX with less debugging effort.

2) iPhone consumers are “better” consumers.  According to online marketing company Nanigans, retailers made 17.9x higher ROI from iOS customers vs Android customers   18x?!  Sounds smart that games developer or retailer to on bet iPhone apps first.

Android First to Disrupt Payments

Nonetheless, we propose that consumer payments businesses should lean “Android First”.

1) Android is outselling iPhone by 6x.  If you want big uptake, it helps to start with a much bigger base.

2) Android dominates the 75% of households earning under $75,000.  Middle Income and Lower Income Americans feel more pain from the incumbent offerings in banking.  Banks best service big savers and big borrowers.  It makes sense to market your product to those experiencing the most acute pain, since they will be the ones most keen to try a new solution.

Consider great consumer payments success stories like Xoom, Lending Club, CapitalOne, Netspend, Green Dot and Square.  None of these companies focused on servicing the market targeted by the incumbent financial services providers.  They established entirely new markets by serving those cast aside by traditional financial services providers as either undesirable or unserviceable.

At CARD.com while we lean Android, we’re focused on offering the best mobile alternative to branch bank accounts on any phone, usually via HTML5.  We offer a better, faster and cheaper substitute for branch banks in the form of transparently marketed prepaid debit cards with great iPhone and Android Apps.  We offer free employer direct deposit to an FDIC insured account, the ability to pay with plastic at merchants, to get cash at ATMs, and to load checks from your phone camera.  In short, each provides a bona fide substitute for branch banks.

All built for everyone, Android-first.