iPayYou becomes the first full-service wallet that enables peer-to-peer payments over the Twitter social media network. Users can send payments via email without the recipient having a pre-created bitcoin account.
“It has always been our goal to build iPayYou into the world’s easiest and most useful bitcoin wallet,” iPayYou founder Gene Kavner told CCN. “Until now, bitcoin has been difficult to use by almost anyone not hugely involved in the development of bitcoin.”
The first step was to enable customers to use an email address as the primary way to send payments to one another, while still supporting all traditional bitcoin payment mechanisms, Kavner said. “Now, adding the ability to pay someone by simply knowing their Twitter handle is another step for iPayYou to expand on its ease of use.”
Once payment has been sent, a Tweet notifies the recipient they have received a payment over iPayYou. The Tweet links to the iPayYou website for the recipient to accept the payment. The recipient can hold the bitcoin in their iPayYou wallet, send it as payment to another peer, or sell their bitcoin for U.S. dollars, which would be deposited in their bank account.
iPayYou’s unique ability to cancel transactions will also apply to the new Pay-by-Twitter feature, with users being able to retract their payment before it has been accepted.
To access their bitcoin, Twitter recipients need to open an iPayYou account, Kavner said. This is a simple process requiring verification of their Twitter credentials and providing their mobile contact for additional security.
“However, we do not require users to provide any banking information in order to access their bitcoin. This information is only required for U.S.A.-based users if they want to purchase additional bitcoin or sell bitcoin they already own directly with iPayYou.”
The fee to sell bitcoin on iPayYou for U.S. customers is about 0.5% plus a nominal network/service fee. The fee to purchase bitcoin is a flat 0.5%.
iPayYou’s mission is to offer easy ways to pay with bitcoin for everyday use. Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks.
“Twitter is used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide and now iPayYou has introduced bitcoin to these users for them to benefit from this payment service without having to be familiar with the cryptocurrency or learn the cryptic bitcoin addresses,” Kavner said.
In addition, Twitter allows payments to be made without the recipient needing to provide private information to the payer, such as their address, bank account numbers, etc. “This level of private payments is another iPayYou innovation that brings world-wide commerce to the 21st century,” Kavner said.
“We are using Twitter’s public API to authenticate users,” Kavner said. “This ensures that only the valid recipient can claim the payment.”
In launching Pay-by-Twitter, iPayYou has included the Twitter handles of the three presumptive U.S. presidential nominees on their website. Users will be able to support their favorite candidate via the Pay-by-Twitter feature.
Kavner said iPayYou chose to use the presidential candidates to demonstrate how little information is needed to use the Pay-by-Twitter feature.
“What we have done is enable a great new way to make payments safely over Twitter by simply knowing the Twitter handle of the recipient,” Kavner said. “Such Twitter handles which can be sent a payment include not just the presidential candidates, but charities, specific causes, organizations, and of course, colleagues, friends and family members.”
iPayYou is working on expanding payment options to all other social media sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn, Kavner said.
Bitcoin advocate Roger Ver, an iPayYou investor, said iPayYou is one of the most exciting new bitcoin companies directed at consumers. He said it is an example of how iPayYou is promoting the mass adoption of bitcoin.
iPayYou will release its wallet on both iOS and Android platforms over the next few months.
Featured image from Shutterstock.