Tiny startup from Stanford is powering thousands of mobile charity campaigns this month.
A small startup called Paystick that is operated by only three people has skyrocketed the use of QR codes for charitable donations as it is currently powering approximately 6,000 barcode based campaigns this month.
The company provides services that make it easier for charities and small businesses to use smartphone barcodes.
The services it provides allow mobile payments to be accepted by the businesses and nonprofits through the scanning of QR codes. Though it doesn’t represent a tremendous competition for the large number of other barcode payment companies, such as Square, it has carved quite a niche for itself in the current market.
At the moment, it is focusing on using QR codes to simplify paper billing and direct mail campaigns.
Consumers with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices that are enabled with scanning apps for QR codes are then able to simply scan the barcodes from Paystik in order to send a payment to the participating charity.
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For example, one of the participants in the service is Project C.U.R.E. It has just gone live with its QR codes in a direct mail campaign. Last year, the nonprofit delivered approximately $42 million in medical care and supplies around the world.
Though Paystik has been focusing primarily on charities this year, it intends to expand next year by reaching out to a larger number of merchants in 2013. According to one of the company’s co-founders, James Ioannidis, they don’t feel that they have taken off, quite yet, in the United States, but that as smartphone penetration continues throughout the country, it is increasing the popularity of the use of QR codes, and is making them far more practical than they had been even a year ago.
According to Ioannidis, “We’ve done market research and scan rates have been increasing exponentially over the past few years.” He then added that “People are becoming more aware of QR codes as smartphones hit 50 percent penetration rates.” He also explained that the company’s concentration on specific verticals, such as charities, as well as on campaigns based on direct mailers, could help the business to succeed where other similar startups have failed.