Bill Ready, the CEO of Braintree and Venmo, says Venmo is an easy first step to get consumers accustomed to mobile payments.
Much easier, he
says, than training people to swipe their phones at cash registers in stores.
"It's a great way to get consumers comfortable with using their phone to pay," he
Toward the end of the summer of 2012, with desperation running high, the co-founders met with Ready, the CEO of Braintree.
Prior to joining Braintree, Ready had invested in Venmo while working as a venture capitalist at Accel Partners.
knew the product and said the two companies would be complementary.
"People ask us about that all the time," says Ready
"We have a great avenue to monetization without having to do advertising, which is very different than a lot of other social apps."
The way Venmo will make its money, Ready
explains, is not by charging consumers for transactions but by charging merchants.
For years, Braintree
has been focused on building a system designed to make it easier for new startups to accept and process mobile and Web payments from customers.
The company has scooped up as paying clients many of the fast-growing, app-driven startups in the sharing economy, including Airbnb, Uber, and TaskRabbit.
Braintree handles transactions in whatever way consumers choose to pay, whether it's credit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal
, Apple Pay, Google Wallet (GOOG), or Venmo
"Our role is to give developers and merchants really easy access to all the payment tools that are going to be relevant and useful to them," Ready
"Wallets have existed on the Internet for almost 15 years," Ready
not losing sleep over that prospect.