Innovation That Matters

Paying offline for virtual online purchases


The latest example of the blending of offline and online worlds is Kwedit, a new payment service in the United States that enables consumers over the age of 13 to make cash payments for their online purchases at participating offline retail stores. (Despite being castigated by Stephen Colbert for getting kids hooked on credit, Kwedit is focused on teens and adults who don’t have credit cards.) Launched in February, Kwedit offers two payment models: Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise. Kwedit Direct users print a payment slip after making an online purchase or have a corresponding barcode sent to their mobile phone, and take either one to a Kwedit retail partner to make payment. They can also mail cash or ask someone to pay on their behalf through a social payment network called Pass the Duck. Kwedit Promise enables consumers to receive digital content and virtual goods immediately in exchange for a promise to pay later, using Kwedit Direct. Kwedit issues users with a “Kwedit Score” which measures how reliably they pay when using Kwedit. The higher the user’s Kwedit Score, the more they can spend using Kwedit Promise. Kwedit takes a small percentage of each transaction, as do participating retailers. Kwedit forged a nationwide partnership with 7-Eleven to create 5,800 payment outlets, and is currently developing additional retail partnerships. Retailers: time to partner with Kwedit and cash in on all that online-generated foot traffic? Or perhaps this is one worth emulating for credit-hungry online consumers hailing from your neck of the offline woods? (Related: Credit card alternative for teensReal gifts for virtual friends.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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