Why hold cash when you can Twitpay?

I just heard of Twitpay via CNBC, and then found this post on the interwebs, and find the concept fascinating!


  1. Just try to imagine a future generation that's never actually held currency in their hands? Ultimately, I feel this leads us towards a supernational currency (e.g. the IMF's SDR) as more and more international currency transactions are made via the internet.

  2. *Supranational currency?

    And I fully realize the Euro is an example of one supranational currency, but I was trying to infer a worldwide currency, and wanted to feel special by using the term supranational incorrectly as "supernational".

  3. What's wrong with calling it an international currency? And doesn't this kind of exist in a de facto way? I feel like I always hear scary stories about how the yuan might overtake the dollar as the "international currency of choice" or whatever

    Anyway my question with Twitpay is kind of like my question with Paypal - how easy is it to jack someone's Twitter and then send all their money to yourself? I know my online bank accounts have like a crazy elaborate login process to prevent illegitimate logins. Should I be concerned about this for something like Twitpay? Does that make me an old man?

  4. I'm one of the founders of Twitpay and am curious when and in what context you heard about us on CNBC. First we've heard of it.

    In response to the security questions in the comments, we realize Twitter is an insecure transport by default, which is a big part of the reason we use PayPal to do fulfillment. In order to hack Twitpay though, you would need the user's Twitpay PIN, Twitter Password, as well as their PayPal credentials. So if anything, we are more secure than PayPal.

  5. International didn't seem cool enough...

    It doesn't really exist right now, as most foreign reserves are kept in US Dollars (the SDR is a weighted currency based on the USD, EUR, JPY, and GBP - >50% from my memory is USD). A supranational currency would exist just as the Euro does in Europe now, but for the whole world. We'd eliminate the USD, and the RMB, and JPY, and EUR (+ all other currencies) for one currency that acts on a "cosmopolitan" level.

    DBrown - don't worry about Royce; he's an uber fraidy cat when it comes to online security (yes, Royce - you are an old man...). In terms of CNBC, the CEO of EBay was on today talking about EBay, Skype, and PayPal. He noted, starting at around the 5:00 mark of this video, that he's very excited about the "opening up of PayPal's platform" to third party developers similar to how the iPhone's revolutionized the wireless market, and noted Twitpay - good PR! :)

  6. Dbrown,

    is there any kind of protection against typo's? If I mean to send money to eBay, and accidentally send it to ebat, am I simply screwed like I dropped a $20 bill?

  7. Good question - I recall reading something like both parties have to log in to PayPal to approve the transaction, but this makes me question:

    1) If this is true, it seems like we're adding unnecessary steps (why not just use PayPal directly?)

    2) If this is not true, refer back to Aaron's comment.

  8. Thanks for the clarification dbrown, I'm definitely intrigued by Twitpay. And yes apparently I'm an old man at heart.

    Wouldn't a simple confirmation diaolog box saying "Are you sure you want to send $20 to eBat?" protect against typos? And don't even get us started about the dreaded clickos

  9. As a follow-up, the concept of mobile money appears to have been successfully introduced in many emerging markets - Twitpay (and the rest of the developed world) seems to be late to the party. A couple highlights:

    1) Kenya appears to have the most sophisticated/successful service with over 7M users (~1/3 of all mobile users in the country)

    2) From a World Bank study: "an extra ten phones per 100 people in a typical developing country boosts GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points". This is a result of faster access to information, less travel, etc.

    3) If interested, there are a number of additional articles in The Economist's special report this week (wireless in emerging markets) that provide some fascinating insights into what may happen here in the US as a result of innovations in these emerging markets.

  10. A follow-up: PayPal has perhaps eliminated the need for Twitpay with this announcement. I've used "Bump" already to transfer contacts b/n phones and I have to say that it's pretty awesome.

    I think cash will be eliminated from our everyday lives within the next decade as so many companies are now getting involved in mobile commerce/payments.