SAN ANTONIO — Payment Data Systems (NASDAQ: PYDS) today announced the launch of Akimbo Now, a simple yet powerful payment service and API that allows businesses and third-party applications to send rewards, incentives, and other payments. Akimbo Now introduces a new and unprecedented disbursement method — a virtual card account that is sent via email and can be used immediately for online purchases or added to a mobile wallet.
Unlike other services, Akimbo Now allows the recipient access to funds through a virtual card account that can be used following a quick registration process. The recipient creates a username and password to securely access the virtual card account. This simple collection process is particularly advantageous for smaller payments, such as those disbursed for rewards and incentives. In addition, users have the option of requesting a plastic card in the mail, or upgrading to a reloadable Akimbo Prepaid MasterCard. Once upgraded, the recipient can transfer funds to an external bank account. Businesses have the ability to fund existing reloadable Akimbo Card accounts in real time as well.
“Akimbo Now empowers businesses and third-party apps with the ability to immediately deliver a wide variety of payments, from small incentives to large payroll checks,” said Houston Frost, SVP of Payment Data Systems Corporate Development. “With Akimbo Now, the recipient has real time access to the funds through a virtual card account that can be used online or in mobile wallets. Larger, recurring payments can be sent to existing Akimbo Prepaid MasterCard accounts.”
For businesses that also want to send regular ACH payments, Akimbo Now offers direct ACH processing solutions through Payment Data Systems.
“By leveraging Payment Data’s processing solutions we can offer a one-stop shop for businesses that need to send money.” said Louis Hoch, cofounder, President, and COO of Payment Data Systems. “Not only can they send funds via email through Akimbo Now, they can also initiate regular ACH payments in the same integration. We even provide the ability to send paper checks.”
Akimbo Now will initially be offered for free, with fee-based corporate branding options. Beginning in 2016, Akimbo will charge a nominal fee for each virtual card sent. “Our goal is for the cost to be the same or less than that of ACH,” said Frost. “We want businesses to be able to increase the frequency and speed of payments without increasing their costs.”
The Akimbo Now API allows for direct app integration so that businesses can automate processes like customer referral rewards or other payouts. Payments can also be initiated through batch uploads on an online web portal. Payment Data Systems envisions a broad range of implementations for Akimbo Now, including consumer apps that automatically reward customers for specific behaviors, tools for sales teams to order incentive cards for prospective or new clients at the click of a button, or a quicker way for payroll companies to pay employees.
“We want to open up the power of the Akimbo platform to businesses and apps,” said Hoch. “For years, consumers have been using Akimbo to send money to friends and family. Now businesses can do the same in a flexible, scalable way.”