Toronto-based Wave, the free cloud accounting platform that has since expanded into payroll and other business-focused applications, today announced the beginning of its mobile payments beta program. Interested users can sign up via their website today, and Wave will start sending out invites next month. The mobile expansion follows the introduction of direct payments on Wave's web-based accounting tool, and both are powered by partner Stripe. Wave founder and CEO Kirk Simpson sees the mobile payments push as a way to help his customers collect payments from their clients even faster and more reliably, citing the fact that on average, their users get payments around 12 days earlier when using the web-based payment platform, which should mean that mobile provides an even bigger boost. Customers will be able ask for payments on the spot right after a job is done, for instance, and the app supports either manual credit card entry or snapping a photo of the card to pay. "A huge component of that is ensuring they get paid in a way and at a speed that works for their business," Simpson explained in an interview. "This is an extension of that mission. Not only do we get a lot of requests for it but we are also anticipating where small businesses want to go. As an example, if a photographer can get paid right after their shoot versus going home, sending out an invoice and then waiting for a check then we will have helped to make their business stronger." The app is initially going to be available on iOS only, but that's just a temporary limitation; Wave intends to use the launch on Apple's platform to gather feedback and make changes before launching on Android, with an app for that platform that is already in the early stages of development. The app is a value-add for existing users, but Simpson also believes it should help the company attract even more users, to help it continue to grow past the 1.5 million user mark, a milestone that's also new alongside this announcement. "For our existing customer base it's a value-add that allows them to replace some of the payment mobile apps that they are using today that don't have a seamless end-to-end experience for the transactions they are creating," he said. And we definitely believe that it will be a compelling feature for new Wave customers to know that they can accept payments wherever they are and that all of their accounting will be handled automatically behind the scenes." Wave has done well so far with its free, ad-supported accounting model, and subsequent expansion into other business functions. The 2010-founded company isn't resting on its laurels, however, and this push into mobile payments is just the latest example of how it continues to focus on product in a way that should help it compete well with other offerings in the space.
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