— The trade organization predicted that mobile wallets will evolve from apps that “consolidate payment and financial information” to “solutions that improve the overall customer experience.”

That could mean the inclusion of rewards, like the Starbucks app does; loyalty programs; and information about deals or discounts based on detailed information about a shopper’s past transactions and location.

“Increasing the perceived and actual value of mobile wallets will drive consumers increasingly towards adoption,” GSMA said.

FDIC Insured

When it takes off, Bitmo wants to be ready, Smallwood said.

“Our vision is to say we want to be the universal go-to app for all of this,” Smallwood said. “Let’s bring it all together into one place where I as a consumer can have control over my finances in a user experience that is familiar to me.”

Another way Bitmo is trying to set itself apart from other mobile payment solutions is the fact that Bitmo will hold users’ money in FDIC-insured accounts, he said.

This month Bitmo launched a public beta on the App Store. An Android version is slated to become available in fall.


CEO: Mike Smallwood

Local employees: 6

Founded: 2015

Funding: $250,000 from family and friends; currently raising a new round from investors

Description: Payments app that incorporates elements of existing programs such as Starbucks, Apple Pay and WhatsApp.