Philly has its own mobile payments startup: Nooch - Technical.ly Philly

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Dec. 10, 2014 7:32 am

Philly has its own mobile payments startup: Nooch

CEO Cliff Canan explains why you should use Nooch instead of Venmo. The biggest differentiator, he said, is that Nooch is not a social network like Venmo is.
Drexel’s LeBow building. Nooch won the Drexel Baiada Incubator Competition in 2012.

Drexel's LeBow building. Nooch won the Drexel Baiada Incubator Competition in 2012.

(Photo via Facebook)

Can Nooch take on Venmo?

Nooch, a mobile payments app, just launched for iOS. The main differentiator between the two is the social aspect, said CEO Cliff Canan.

Venmo’s social feed, which shows what your friends have paid people for, is a core part of its product. That’s not the case with Nooch.

“Fundamentally, I believe personal payments should be private,” Canan, a Duke grad, wrote in an email. “So we’ve tried to build Nooch to be functional and easy for ‘social payments,’ but not another social network.”

Download Nooch for iOS

The other selling points, according to Canan:

  • Nooch users can hook up their bank account to the app using their online banking credentials (a major feature that Venmo only recently added).
  • You don’t have to be a Nooch user to receive payment or pay a request from an existing user.
  • Nooch has a built-in feature to dispute charges.
cliff canan

Nooch CEO Cliff Canan. (Courtesy of Cliff Canan)

The hardest part of developing the app?

Regulations, said Canan, 26, of Haverford, Pa.

There are both federal and state-level regulations that govern the transfer of money, and those laws, Canan said, are written for a pre-internet world. That meant working to understand the laws and then comply with them.

“Part of that includes a terrorist watch list screening, a dispute process, transfer limits, record-keeping, and the right partners,” Canan wrote.

The company has raised an undisclosed amount of friends and family money, as well as some money from university business competitions at Drexel and Duke, but the primary focus was launching the product, he said.

Canan leads a staff of two other full-timers and the team works remotely. They also work with some developers in India.

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Companies: Nooch, Venmo
People: Cliff Canan
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