Is Apple Pay headed the Minkasu way?

Chitra Rakesh Blog Leave a Comment

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Senior vice president at Apple, Craig Federighi’s recent announcement about “bringing Apple Pay to the web” at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference sent the payments world in a frenzy. Some even dubbed it as the biggest thing in e-commerce tech since e-commerce itself!

Starting this fall, while shopping online, users will see a “Pay with Apple Pay” button and when they click it, they’ll be asked to securely authenticate their purchase using continuity right on their iPhones with Touch ID.

So imagine you actually start shopping – for your favorite iPhone accessory, a tablet, golf equipment for your kids, or for that matter, groceries for home – on your desktop or laptop and complete it on your smartphone. How cool is that?

We, at Minkasu, introduced this brand new paradigm to online payments more than a year ago. Our patent-pending technology make use of tokenization, ID verification and biometrics.

Similar and yet different

With Minkasu, users see a “Checkout with Smart Phone” button and when they click it, they are asked to tap pay and securely authenticate their purchase on their smartphones with Touch ID. Apple Pay follows a similar workflow.


Elaborating on bringing the Apple Pay experience to the Mac, Federighi said, “We thought long and hard about exactly the right way to do it, and I think we have nailed it.”

Whoa!!! Though we’ve always been proud of our core tech, this kind of validation from Apple, a company whose products we all use, and a company that we all respect, has taken our excitement to a whole new level!

Though the tech mogul has taken the Minkasu approach to ecommerce, Apple Pay will work only on Safari browsers on Apple devices.

Minkasu, on the other hand, works on all devices, all browsers, and all operating systems. It is a ubiquitous solution that delivers seamless user experience and removes mobile payments friction across all channels — online, mobile web, social, messaging platforms, in-app and in-store — without usernames and passwords.

Apple Pay vs Minkasu Infographic

Furthermore, in order to use Apple Pay for the web, you need to setup the Handoff feature of Continuity between your iPhone and Mac. This requires both the devices to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. They need to be in close proximity to each other with Bluetooth enabled. In addition, you also need to be signed into iCloud with the same Apple ID at the same time on both devices.

While our exec team believes that we have some serious advantages over Apple Pay, I’d like to open this up for discussion and get your views on Apple Pay’s latest move, how it compares to Minkasu, and if we inspired their approach to online payments :)

Get Minkasu. Join the payments revolution today.

Download the Minkasu App from App Store and Google Play, play around, and let us know what you think.

Minkasu is also accepting new merchants and non-profits in its network. Interested? Please drop us a note at

Minkasu is FREE for both users and merchants.

Minkasu: The Only True Omni Channel Mobile Payments Solution in the Marketplace

Chitra Rakesh Blog Leave a Comment

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Minkasu: The Only True Omni Channel Mobile Payments Solution in the Marketplace


Hello from the Pymnts “Innovation Project” at Harvard in Massachusetts! Everyone disrupting the payments space is here, and Minkasu can’t wait to share what it’s been up to with these payment rock stars!

Inno Prj-2

Minkasu is an ubiquitous solution that delivers the same great user experience across all channels — online, mobile web, social, in-app and in-store — without usernames and passwords. Minkasu makes use of tokenization, ID verification and biometrics. It is operating system-agnostic and device-agnostic. And it is not specific to any network, bank or merchant.

Stop by our booth at the Expo today and tomorrow to experience our cool tech, get a quick demo, and find out how we plan to change the payments landscape.

Now for some fun. Did you know that Makers of Android Pay rent goats to maintain their lawns, or the name of the mobile payment service that logged 5 million registered users in its first six months of existence? Check out our crossword below… We’ll give you a hint: Most or all of these companies are present at the Innovation Project.

Minkasu Crossword




1. If you’re carrying a credit card in your wallet, Charles W. Scharf wants it to be a ____.

2. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, this global payment processing company employs over 10k people, and went public last year.

3. This Silicon Valley Company powers payments for thousands of non-profits.

5.Karen Webster founded the most popular payments news source. It is spelt without vowels.

8. This ecommerce company started from Jeff Bezos’ garage. The rest is history. Which company is this?


4. A mobile payment app that lets you pay across all devices and channels – anytime, anywhere!

6. Who introduced the first credit card hologram to thwart the unauthorized use of stolen credit cards?

7. “Mobile-based transactions in the U.S. have grown 118% per year on average for the last five years.” Tell us the source.

9. A mobile payment service that logged 5 million registered users in its first six months of existence!

10. Surprise! Surprise! Makers of Android Pay rent goats to maintain its lawns at the Mountain View headquarters.

To learn about the Minkasu payment solution, and for answers to the crossword, remember to stop by our booth! We’ll also post the answers on our Facebook page next week.

Too Much Noise in the Mobile Payments Space – Who is Designed to Win the Mobile Payments War?

Anbu Gounder Uncategorized

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Smartphone adoption has grown exponentially over the past few years and more than 1.5 billion people across the globe find themselves constantly tethered to their device. Businesses are clamoring to take advantage of the extended reach that Internet-connected devices provide them and merchants realize that in order to increase revenues and stand apart from the competition they must offer the easiest possible way for consumers to make payments using their smartphones. As a result, the mobile payments industry seems to be taking of, and several companies have introduced mobile payment solutions in the last one year or so to capitalize on that trend. In fact, TrendForce forecasted a 37.8% year-on-year growth in the total value of global mobile payment transactions in 2016 — up to $620 billion from $450 billion last year.

While having options is typically a good thing, it has made it very hard for merchants to choose from the many mobile payment solutions available now in the marketplace. It has also forced the consumers to download multiple mobile wallets and apps and to set up just as many profiles. This has created much noise, fragmentation and confusion in the marketplace contributing significantly to slow adoption rates.

Lack of Ubiquity – OS, Device, Merchant, Bank, Network or Channel Specific

One of the biggest issues with the current landscape is that most mobile payment solutions are specific to an operating system, device, merchant, bank or network and are limited to in-store purchases. Apple Pay and Android Pay, for instance, are both operating system specific as they work only with the iOS and Android operating systems respectively. They both also require Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and they could work only in the less than 3 percent of physical stores where NFC terminals are present. The slow adoption of NFC by merchants is due to the significant costs associated with replacing existing terminals. Samsung Pay, on the other hand, employs Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology, which is accepted at almost any card terminal but still falls under the limitation of in-store purchases with a Samsung device.

Mobile payment solutions like Walmart Pay are merchant specific. Solutions like Visa Checkout and Chase Mobile are network specific and bank specific respectively, thus creating limitations for both merchants and consumers.

Additionally, most mobile payment solutions only work in certain channels – for example, Apple Pay can only be used in physical stores and in-app purchases. PayPal, however, works predominantly online. The truth of the matter is, consumers are no longer shopping in one specific channel. Even though there are several channel-specific mobile payment solutions available, most companies are still trying to figure out how to sell effectively via social channels.

High Friction at the Point of Checkout

The compelling value proposition for consumers to make the switch to mobile payments has yet to be established in the case of physical stores where swiping a credit card is quick and easy. The friction consumers feel when shopping online, however, contributes to nearly 70 percent of abandoned shopping carts. This can present a huge challenge for those merchants that sell online. In order to significantly increase conversions, merchants need to present consumers with a payment option that has the fewest number of steps between item selection and payment. The need for a username and a password, as required by solutions like PayPal, creates additional friction.

Security Concerns

Several high-profile security breaches in the last couple of years–resulting in the loss of billions of dollars for merchants and the loss of identity information for consumers–have created security concerns in the minds of merchants and people alike. Several payment solution providers store card information in the cloud making themselves vulnerable leading to card theft. Although improvements have been made in terms of tokenizing and safeguarding card credentials, several solutions still use the combination of username and password for authentication, which is a weak security procedure. Using the smartphone’s advanced features such as its built-in biometric for authenticating  payments on any device, in any channel, and anywhere is a compelling value proposition.


We live in an age where the customer dictates the market and expects exceptional, seamless experiences every time, everywhere. If not achieved, the frustrated consumer will quickly abandon new technology for simpler, tried and trusted methods such as swiping or manual credit card entry. The mobile payment solutions that enable secure payments quickly and easily across devices, channels and merchants anytime and anywhere will win the mobile payments war.

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Super Bowl 50: A Round-up from Minkasu

Chitra Rakesh Blog Leave a Comment

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Team Minkasu congratulates the Denver Broncos on a magnificent Super Bowl 50 Win! As Bronco Nation decimated competition, and Peyton Manning lifted Vince Lombardi, CBS’ price tag of $5 million for a 30-second commercial did not deter Corporates from going into an ad frenzy. Super Bowl advertising costs have nearly doubled from $2.5 million, a decade ago!


Minkasu’s Brush with Super Bowl

Minkasu – the simple and secure mobile payments app startup – headquartered only five miles from Levi’s Stadium, the venue of the big game, also got in the spirit and launched a Super Bowl Sweepstakes. The top prize was a pair of tickets to Super Bowl 50, the biggest annual sporting event in United States.

While we chose not to spend $5 million on a TV commercial, we got in the game with social media, press, emailers, college brand ambassadors, our partner network, a bit of guerilla marketing, and of course, the big game bottle opener. In a build up to the big game, we ran weekly trivia on Facebook and retweet contests on Twitter that were a big hit, and got us an incredible rate of engagement! We created a pretty kick-ass video that took our social media by storm. You got to watch this:

Happy to ramp up with limited resources, Minkasu made a dent of sorts. We saw downloads, transactions, and great participation, as a result of our marketing efforts. Thanks to our awesome campaign, I – a football novice – was able to surprise my husband with names like Cam Newton and Peyton Manning!

In the meanwhile, the Minkasu headquarters was abuzz with Super Bowl activity, and the whole team came together over pizzas and drinks to sort and organize the entries. We got an independent person from outside who chose 3 random numbers to pick the winners.


Meet the WinnersMohit Mal SB50 Winner

Mohit Mal and his lovely wife won the grand prize. At first, Mohit did not believe that he’d won but when it hit him, guess what he decided to do with his winnings… Sell the Super Bowl 50 tickets and give most of it back to charity. This kind couple from Vegas believe, “If everyone does a little for others, the world will be a much better place.” Isn’t that truly amazing? Wow!

Mohit entered the competition by using the Minkasu App to donate to Sankara Eye Foundation. He loved the Minkasu experience. “It was quick and easy!” he said. “It actually takes just a fraction of your time when compared to donating on the website.”

Srinivas Vadhri got the second prize: A $2,000 Amex Gift Card. Srinivas calls himself a “product guy,” and he’s been in the payments business for over a decade. Besides working with startups on ideas, this Silicon Valley veteran enjoys NFL, cricket and soccer.

On hearing the news of his winning, he was both surprised and delighted! And surprise, surprise, he too plans to give back more “using the Minkasu mobile app.” How cool is that? Way to go, Srini!

Payments executive, Srini, thinks, the Minkasu app is, “Pretty smooth and seamless. It is probably the easiest way to donate.” Now, that’s pretty huge validation, I would think. The industry is starting to take notice as well. So far in 2016, we’ve already been featured in TechCrunch, PYMNTS, and more… and it’s only February!

The third prize, an iPad Pro, went to Ken Giordano, a Massachusetts consultant. Ken plans to use his iPad for work. “This was something I was already in the market to buy! It is a perfect addition to the tools I already have. It’s wonderful to win such a great prize,” he said. Perfect.

Please like our Facebook Page for winner stories, cool contests, and more fun updates!

Get Minkasu

With awareness created, and the stage set, Minkasu is now accepting new merchants and non-profits in its network. If you’re interested, please drop us a note at

The users can download the Minkasu App for free on App Store and Google Play.

Don’t fumble with credit cards. Go mobile with Minkasu.

What’s in your wallet?

Naveen Doraiswamy Blog Leave a Comment

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Whenever I hear the famous tagline “What’s in your wallet?” used in advertising campaigns, I’m reminded of the hilarious case of mistaken identity of Samuel L. Jackson by KLTA Morning News anchor Sam Rubin. But on a more serious note, have you ever stopped to think more deeply about what IS in your wallet? Perhaps you have a favorite credit card in there. I know I do. Now most people don’t give a second thought to handing over their credit card to the nice waiter at the restaurant where they just had a meal. But when I did the same last weekend, and didn’t get my credit card back after waiting for more than 10 minutes, I grew a little impatient. I went to the cashier who explained to me that their credit card processing system was experiencing technical issues. Not wanting to hold me up, his solution was to write down my credit card number on a piece of paper and charge me later. I thought to myself – how can the credit card system that has existed for over 60 years be so antiquated and unsafe that we can be charged from credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper, when digital technology around us in every sphere has evolved so much?

The next thought that occurred to me was what would happen if my credit card information gets stolen from that piece of paper? If your card has ever been stolen before, you can relate to the painful process of restoring things back to normal, which involves reporting your credit card stolen, disputing the fraudulent charges, completing any necessary paperwork, waiting for a new credit card (with a new PAN, expiry date and CVV) to arrive in the mail, and finally updating your new credit card information at every single place where it is on file. The irony is that even after completing all those steps, you are at best back to square one and hoping that it doesn’t get stolen again from any of those places where it’s on file. After having my credit card information stolen and going through the resolution process a few times in the past, you can imagine I was a feeling a little anxious upon hearing the solution that the cashier was proposing.

Which leads me to question the fundamentals of the existing credit card system itself:

  • Why do the majority of us continue to carry credit cards in our physical wallet with raw numbers on the front/back of the card that are easy to steal? The credit card information in unencrypted and the physical wallet does not require any authentication before its contents are accessed. Even with the new chip cards, unencrypted information still exists on its magnetic stripe.
  • Why does the decades-old credit card system compel us to distribute this unencrypted credit card information in order to pay for essential goods and services?
  • Finally, why do the provider of these goods and services continue to accept and use unencrypted credit card information without strong authentication and authorization?

It’s absurd that such a system still exists in this day and age of technology. I believe there are a couple of reasons why it still exists. Firstly, none of the existing alternative payment methods, such as cash, checks, etc. affords the convenience that the credit card system offers, and thus consumers are willing to trade security for convenience. Secondly, consider the newer alternative payment methods, such as mobile wallets that store (tokenized) payment credentials securely on mobile devices. Although they arguably afford the same convenience level as credit cards without compromising security, it is quite simply very difficult to change consumer’s payment behavior. But that change is already happening, with the entrance of new mobile wallet solutions, which allow consumers to tokenize and digitally store their credit card information and subsequently use it innovative ways.

Mobile wallets have existed for several years and a few of those wallets solve a lot of the fundamental security problems that exist in today’s credit card system. Although their adoption has been slow considering how long they have been around, with the considerable investments being made in this space these days by leading technology companies, financial institutions, and venture capital firms, combined with the significant awareness being created amongst consumers, mobile wallets will become an increasing part of our lives. At Minkasu, we are all about solving the pain points in today’s credit card system, with a mobile payment option that combines cutting-edge security technology with ease of use and is appealing to both merchants and consumers. Try us out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

So, what’s in your (mobile) wallet?

Cash in on Mobile Browsing this Thanksgiving

Chitra Rakesh Blog Leave a Comment

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Get ahead of the game this shopping season with a simple, secure, smart mobile payment option.

‘Tis the season of giving thanks, turkey feasts, family time, and plenty of shopping! With Black Friday round the corner, merchants – big and small – are busy gearing up. And then, there’s the Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, when ecommerce sales surge and reach new highs.

While everyone is hashing out deals and specials, promotions and discounts to lure customers, are they doing nearly as much to convert them? Or, are some of them forgetting to optimize the shopping experience for mobile? Are they forgetting to add simple, secure and smart payment options like Minkasu – that let their customers pay on any device, using their smartphones – to their shopping carts?

Last Thanksgiving, mobile played a huge role in in terms of both traffic and sales. Thanksgiving 2014 was especially notable for being the first Thanksgiving where mobile traffic to online retailers accounted for more than half of all online traffic [Source: IBM’s benchmark data].

According to a recent comScore statistic, mobile is hot but conversion is cold. 60% of all online retail browsing happens on tablets and smartphones but this translates to only 15% of all ecommerce sales!

According to a recent comScore statistic, mobile is hot but conversion is cold. 60% of all online retail browsing happens on tablets and smartphones but this translates to only 15% of all ecommerce sales!

Sales Browsing Chart

Note how tablets and smartphones account for a larger portion of the pie when it comes to retail browsing but it becomes miniscule and substantially shrinks when it comes to actual sales.

Friction at checkout, and lack of robust mobile payment options can be attributed towards low conversion rate on mobile.

High friction at checkout and shopping cart abandonment are serious concerns when it comes to online and mobile transactions. From sites that aren’t optimized for mobile, to mobile apps that rely on convoluted checkout processes, and unwieldy usernames and passwords, perhaps we’re asking the shoppers for too much. Instead of simplifying the checkout process, we seem to be complicating it without realizing it. It is about time to optimize for mobile and turn to smarter solutions that reduce friction and make payment a breeze.

Trends indicate users take the mobile route for research and turn to laptops and desktops for actual purchases. Though a lot of folks attribute this behavior to habit, but as per Cayan report, 88.8% of retailers do not even offer mobile payment options to their shoppers! Adding a mobile payment option, and keeping a unified experience across devices are proven ways of converting “browsing” to “sales” and realizing higher revenues.

An incredible growth rate of 118 percent, per year for the last five years, in mobile transactions should serve as a wakeup call to all ecommerce merchants.

Also, security concerns and fraud are deep rooted in both online and retail transactions. Credits card are getting stolen, and passwords are getting hacked. Wouldn’t it be great if your payment solution let you pay without storing your credit card information anywhere? Or, for that matter let you authenticate with fingerprint instead of passwords? Solutions like Minkasu make use of tokenization where your sensitive financial information is secured by cutting edge patent pending technology.
Imagine, if your customers could use their smartphones to checkout (or pay) across devices! If only the buying experience could be as simple, secure and fast!

On a more serious note, let Minkasu turn this one into an ecommerce (and mcommerce) feast for you! Add the Minkasu payment option to your shopping cart in less than 30 minutes and watch your conversions go up, up, and up.

Interested? Please drop us a note at Cheers!

The five critical considerations for increasing mobile conversion

Chris Generalis Blog Leave a Comment

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The meteoric rise of the smartphones and tablets have changed the face of e-commerce and m-commerce. Did you know that one out of every three shoppers use a mobile device as part of their purchasing process? Mobile based transactions have grown at an incredible 118 percent per year for the last five years!

Younger generations are more likely than anyone to use mobile checkout options. Surprisingly, 88.8 percent of retailers do not offer mobile payment options to their shoppers. The result? 75 percent of smartphone users abandon sites that are not mobile optimized. This is why the factors that drive cart abandonment are intensified for mobile.

So, how about adding a mobile payment solution to your shopping cart?

Blog Image

After extensive research, Minkasu has put together a list of five critical considerations before choosing your mobile payments solution.

User experience drives revenue

Eliminating redundant steps and reducing friction in the checkout flow is a critical and proven way of reducing abandonment, improving conversions, and increasing revenue. Why have a payment option or get a new one if it wouldn’t improve your top line and bottom line?

Even with sophisticated and optimized checkout flows, the average rate of online shopping cart abandonment is 68.53 percent. Imagine 2 out of every 3 customers that put items into your shopping cart fail to complete the purchase! Forgotten passwords, convoluted checkout processes and new user account creation are the top reasons.

Payment solutions that don’t need users to enter their usernames, passwords or payment information tend to score better over the traditional means of making payments.

Payment solutions should work everywhere

Your payment solution should work across channels and operating systems. It shouldn’t matter if your customer is on a tablet, a desktop or a mobile phone. It also shouldn’t matter if he is paying for something in a physical store. It should offer a consistent and streamlined checkout for online, mobile web, mobile apps and physical stores.

It shouldn’t matter if a user has an iPhone or an Android Phone. To use Apple Pay, you need an iPhone. To use Android Pay, you must have an Android Phone. A great multi-channel payment solution should work across all channels, operating systems and devices.

The Pymnts blog aptly summarizes this point: The “winner” of mobile wallet wars has to work across operating systems, shopping channels, browsers and technology platforms.

Appeal to millennials

Mobile checkout has a huge appeal with the millennial shoppers. Majority of millennial shoppers, who’ve grown up in the age of smartphones, like to research on mobile devices before making a purchase.

Interestingly, eighty million millennials in America have an annual buying power of $200 billion. You can’t afford to discount this demographic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2020, millennials will comprise 46% of United States workforce.

Don’t compromise on security

Even the largest and most trusted companies that have spent millions of dollars on security have fallen victim to data breaches. Sensitive financial information has been compromised. Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, Michaels are just some of them.

Every payment solution out there claims to be secure, but you should always pay attention to the details. Does your payment solution store the credit card numbers? Does your payment solution still rely on outdated authentication methods such as usernames and passwords, prone to phishing? Or does it make use of advanced verification technologies like biometrics that are both convenient and secure?

Your payment solution should take the merchants out of the payment path. The card details should not be shared with the merchants. In fact, the most secure solution is the one that does not store your customers’ credit card numbers anywhere or share it with merchants.

Smartphones now have additional capabilities that can potentially add new biometric security layers. Sophisticated technologies like biometrics, tokenization and ID verification eliminate the potential threat of identity theft and fraud.

Quick and easy implementation is key

Your payment solution should be quick and easy to implement. Software solutions that do not change your existing payment infrastructure are easier and cheaper to implement than some of the intrusive and costly hardware ones.

So now that we’ve listed the five most important parameters, how do your existing payment solutions (or for that matter, any new ones, that you might be considering) stack up? The payment solution you choose should ease the checkout process for your customers instead of complicating it.

At Minkasu, we feel strongly about improving conversions and increasing revenue through (1) intuitive user experience, (2) taking a multi-channel approach, (3) appealing to millennials, (4) offering superior security and (5) quick implementation. After all, we’re a company that keeps you, the merchant, at the heart of all our development efforts.

Minkasu offers a simple, smart and secure way of accepting mobile payments. We believe smartphone checkout is not only the future, but also the present.

For more information, watch our video.

Can we eliminate passwords, please?

Subramanian Lakshmanan Blog Leave a Comment

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The funniest comment I ever read on the web was on an article about the Heartbleed bug,a high profile vulnerability in the OpenSSL library. It went something like this: “If someone can find my password, please let me know. I lost it a few months ago and can’t find it. Willing to pay for it”. On a serious note, soon after the news about the vulnerability came out, I went about changing all my passwords in about 15 sites. Some sites did not even have any sensitive data but then I realized I used the same user name and password as the other sites, with only slight variations. That’s the day all hell broke loose for me!

Before getting into the after-effect of having changed all passwords, I need to talk about my experience with just changing the passwords. These days, different sites have different requirements for a valid password. Some require at least one upper case letter, some require special characters and numbers, some do NOT take special characters, and some need to be minimum 8 characters. Sounds too familiar? By the time I create an acceptable password after a few unsuccessful attempts, I sometimes forget the password I just created! The time my brain hurts the most however is when I usually try to pay all my bills online end of the month in one sitting. Forget passwords (pun unintended), these days I cannot even remember my user names. On that note, creating user names is also becoming increasingly harder given that most user names are already taken. It really bothers me when I think about our future generations. Your great-grandson may be forced to take a user name like, for instance, “sjones2084March24-15hrs:26 mins:24.3819s-with_a_special_$”. What kind of password he will use? Can’t say for sure but he may need to rent a few gigabytes of storage from Amazon S3 to store his password!

The security gods at some of these places want us to change the passwords too, once every few months. And every time I change the password for one of my email accounts, I have to update the password for that account on multiple devices – my phone, tablet and my laptop.

Coming back to the hell after the day I changed all my passwords, I was forgetting and resetting on an average about 3 passwords a day! Thanks to the shift to cloud, it has become extremely easy at our startup to get started with all our IT and engineering needs. However, I still need to log in into each one of these services almost on a daily basis to use them, as I hate to leave browser sessions signed-in.

You would think resetting passwords is easy. It used to be. Put in your email, get a temporary password emailed to you, click on the link and reset it – there you go, right? Not really. You need to answer challenge questions now – some times one, sometimes more. On top of it, you need to solve the CAPTCHA puzzle – that little grid with funny looking or dancing letters and numbers that you are asked to type. My bank likes to challenge me frequently like this every time I log in from a new device or clear my browser cache. I get challenged so frequently now that I get a feeling they simply want to cut off my access and run away with my money! And what if you forget the answers to the challenge questions in the first place? Good luck!

After a couple of weeks, this username and password situation started affecting my overall productivity significantly. I just gave up managing this on individual sites and shamelessly followed what a friend of mine said he did. I wrote down all user names and passwords on Apple notes on my iPhone. To shed some light on my friend’s appalling situation, he manages approximately100 work-related accounts, and he maintains a spreadsheet of passwords that is encrypted with a master password that he remembers. Password managers somewhat help with this issue, but I’m not sure if they truly solve some of the fundamental problems with passwords, like frequently having to change them or phishing attacks.

I know some of you are already asking why not sign-in with Facebook or Google. Would you like to access your bank accounts or your HR site with Google or Facebook? Yes? Fair enough! I will write about my take on these solutions and the FIDO alliance another day. But even assuming that our species evolves to such an advanced state of using only one user name and password across the board, my question is, why even one? Why use passwords at all?

Given the deep connection between authentication and payments, it’s not surprising that passwords show up in payments too. It’s a well-known fact that any friction identified and eliminated in the checkout process will directly result in increase in revenues for e-commerce businesses. The PayPals and Amazons of the world have done a fabulous job replacing lengthy, hard-to-remember and sensitive credit card numbers with a user name and password. I’m sure their sticky user base will stay with them forever and thank them – hopefully no one steals their passwords pretending to be a merchant site accepting one of these payment methods. For the rest of us who are waiting in the side lines for a better solution, and for the next generation growing up thinking that the world would be a better place to live in, I dare to ask – can we just eliminate passwords?

How about password-less payments? That’s exactly what we do at Minkasu. We harness the power, convenience and security of a personal smartphone to facilitate password-less and pain-less mobile payments. I will be back with more about Minkasu soon.

Going back to the original topic on passwords, what do you think? Are you as frustrated as I am about it? I would love to hear your comments.