Digicel Group is now a lead investor in Flint Mobile, and now has a seat on the American technology company's board.
The Denis O'Brien-founded Digicel stepped up with two other investors with backing to help two-year-old Flint bring mobile payment innovations to market.
Flint has already created an app that allows merchants and business owners to use the camera on their smartphones to process credit and debit-card payments without additional hardware such as a card reader.
The technology eliminates the card-swipe function.
Digicel, along with Verizon Investments and SVG Ventures together have provided funding of US$8 million (J$840 million) in Flint to enable it to expand its team, ramp up customer acquisition and accelerate innovation in the mobile payments market. The deal was announced by Flint on October 25.
Digicel and SVG reportedly accounted for US$6 million of the investment.
Flint Mobile started in 2011 and is based in Silicon Valley near San Francisco, California. The tech firm describes itself as a leader in easy swipe-free payments and integrated marketing for mobile businesses.
Flint's free app is designed primarily for service professionals and traders with non-counter businesses and competes with credit-card readers and products like Square and PayPal, where an attachment to the phone allows credit-card transactions.
The app has been downloaded about 150,000 times up to early October, and an Android version was launched later in the month.
Digicel says, however, that there are no plans to introduce the app to Jamaica.
"This is not an app that is intended for use in our markets - our investment in the company was by means of supporting and driving cutting-edge technologies and apps in the mobile space," Antonia Graham, head of group public relations, told the Financial Gleaner.
Damian Blackburn, Digicel Group business development director, has now joined the Flint board of directors.
"We believe that a pure digital app model to enable payments is an inevitable market shift in the same way that digital cameras and handheld GPS devices have become mobile apps," said Blackburn in the Flint press release.
"While many others in the industry are replacing retail POS systems and cash registers with tablet apps, we're focused on empowering the 'non-countertop' businesses that operate outside of a store and have different requirements," added Flint co-founder and CEO Greg Goldfarb.
"As a result of strong demand for our unique approach, we've seen transaction volume grow by more than 10 times in under a year," he said.