At the MasterCard N>XT Developer Challenge in September it was The Coyotes, a team of 5 high-schoolers, that took home the $10,000 (People’s Choice Award prize for their app that splits restaurant bills and made it easy to accept payments.
Now a few months later, the team is back and have used their winnings to develop “NIMJA.” The name is the first letter of each of the inventors: Nick, Ian, Max, Jeffrey and Adam. The app is taking aim at the developing mobile payment space and is currently only available on Google’s Android OS. NIMJA enables businesses to accept credit card payments simply by tapping the cards on the back of the smartphone (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express). You might think this is similar to Jack Dorsey’s Square, but a major difference is that the business owner doesn’t need the dongle to make it work – only an NFC-enabled smartphone.
NIMJA is banking on consumers carrying less cash and hoping for the early adopters to feel comfortable paying for items via their smartphone. From a merchant perspective, this uses Stripe.com — merchants must register before downloading — as its back-end NIMJA is basically a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) terminal in your pocket that accepts MasterCard PayPass and Visa Paywave. The company states that no credit card info is stored on the physical device or their servers.
NIMJA is in beta mode and the app is currently free, as it the service. Future expansion past Canada is expected to arrive in the United States and the UK.