Mobile payments just got a big bump in Norway. News broke that the home-grown mobile payment solution, mCASH announced a NOK 43 million (€5.15 million) series A in a round led by Northzone and Entrée Capital. mCASH's payment solution is a QR Code based solution that allows anyone from individuals to webshops to retailers to accept payments through the app.
CEO Daniel Döderlein tells us on the funding, "As you know, mCASH is a human capital driven company. Everything is owned and developed in house. So we're using our strength to get more smart people. Additionally we're putting some of that towards an extremely aggressive and - I think - creative launch in Norway next week."
We've covered mCASH a few times in the past - the company has been around since 2006 - but lately has been busy. In one day last November we saw five press releases come in from them, ranging from partnerships from everywhere from the banking infrastructure to restaurant operators. You could tell something big was brewing.
As a quick recap of those partnerships, they've penned a strategic partnership with Teller, the largest multi-scheme acquirer in the Nordics that allows mCASH to plug into all major credit and debit cards. Additionally they've partnered with Evry, a Nordic provider of deposits, lending, card, and payment solutions. On top of that they've plugged in to Visma Retail's software, the largest Point Of Sale (POS) provider in the Nordics.
On the retail side, they announced Umoe Restaurants AS, Norway's largest operator of restaurants, is is implementing their solution meaning mCASH app users can use mobile payments at Burger King, Starbucks, and T.G.I. Fridays, among others. Umoe holds restaurants across Scandinavia, suggesting that mCASH will be able to quickly spread to a franchise near you if the Norwegian market goes well - although at this time Döderlein says they're not commenting about their international rollout.
Payments for the masses
They still have some challenges ahead of them. While widescale mobile payments has been a new trend people have been predicting since who-knows-when, no player has been able to hit huge consumer adoption in Western countries. A notable challenge in front of them is user adoption, what Döderlein says isn't just through press and marketing, but by getting new users to fall in love with the product.
Next, is merchant adoption which they've partly secured through larger corporate partnerships. "Some factions in the market are very dynamic and willing to take risk and try crazy stuff, but then theres the mid-market with retailers with two to five stores. Those are hard to reach, so the next challenge is sales efforts," says Döderlein.
As mentioned early in the article mCASH has been around since 2006, and according to the company they haven't had a true pivot since they've founded. "We're very excited. It's been a long birth, and I've been carrying this concept since 2006 - together with my wife- and we're all very ready to continue the hard work on the next phase of this."
For those readers in Norway, I'll be at Mesh's Friday After-work on February 28th, where mCASH CEO Daniel Döderlein will also be on stage. At that time we'll likely talk more about the product launch.