Ex-AdMob Employees Make Paying for Things on the Phone a Snap

A company founded by two former AdMob employees is coming out of stealth mode today to unveil a new way to make paying for things inside applications much easier.

In fact, it’s as easy as taking a picture.

Card.io, which was founded by Mike Mettler and Josh Bleecher, has raised $1 million in seed funding.

Angel investors include Michael Dearing of Harrison Metal; Jeff Clavier and Charles Hudson of SoftTech; Manu Kumar of K9 Ventures; Alok Bhanot, a former PayPal exec; and Omar Hamoui, AdMob’s founder.

Card.io is focused on solving a specific part of the mobile payments business — buying things with a credit card on the phone, whether it’s digital goods, like a song, or physical goods from a site like Amazon.

Rather than having to type in the credit card number, users just hold a credit card up to the phone’s camera, which automatically reads the card information and enters the appropriate data.

Co-founder and CEO Mike Mettler, who was one of the original product managers at AdMob, left the company around the time that Google purchased the mobile ad network for $750 million. He said a four-person team has been working on the concept since August.

“It’s super-frictionless. It requires no behavior change and no hardware dependencies,” Mettler said.

The company is targeting developers who want to sell items within a mobile application. The company is launching a private beta today that will allow mobile developers to integrate the service into its iPhone applications. It does not work for browser-based sites or the mobile Web, because they typically cannot communicate with the phone’s camera.

So far, it’s signed up three developers: MogoTix for event tickets, TaskRabbit for local services, and Samasource for donations.

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