Lengthy checkout processes are known for making our lives twice as hard everytime we go shopping online (as if parting with your hard-earned money wasn’t difficult enough). We are not the only ones to suffer though, as our distaste for checkouts inevitably leads to losses for businesses.
To counter this, Locent, a startup from Santa Monica, set out to create a swift and concise e-commerce system using based on text messages to rid both the consumer and the business of undue frustration.
The system works like this:Locent hands out to businesses a custom text-enabled phone number once they sign up for the service. Businesses create product listings using Locent’s SaaS (Software as a Service) web app, with each product being assigned a unique keyword. Users only need to know the desired business’ Locent phone number and the keyword that corresponds to item they want to order.
As soon as you send a text containing the keyword to the business’ Locent phone number, you’ll get a link to the payment form for that item in a reply text. All you have to do in order to checkout is to complete the form on your phone and voila!
Backed by Y-Combinator, Locent was only founded in 2015 so their system is very much under the testing and development stage. While physical businesses and retailers remain their primary targets, Locent has decided to focus on a fairly passive form of field-testing—promotion of brands and celebrities.
With the 2016 presidential almost round the corner, Locent is also being looked at as a potential platform for channeling donations without the hassles that usually come bundled with such a task. Participating candidates would only need to give out their Locent numbers during speeches to open up another avenue for financial backing.
Stripe is the payments company collaborating with Locent on the implementation of this system. As always the provider is charging a nominal fee of 2.9% of the amount per transaction to keep its coffers populated. The people behind it have come up with an unorthodox approach to tackling online payments and we’re impressed. The question is, are you? Let us know what you think about Locent and its creative usage of text messages by commenting below!