By Rowena Lindsay, inside editor
Boston-based security company PXT Payments’ mobile app looped in is looking to make the move to Northeastern. Specifically designed for college students, the app allows users to digitally pay at local establishments, earn reward points and transfer money between friends – all on your smartphone.
The app is free to download and there are no additional fees to transfer money. Businesses are charged a small flat fee per transaction but can use the app to post deals and develop loyalty programs for looped in users.
“The benefits of looped in are that everyone has their cell phone so it is nicer to pay with an app than to carry around credit cards. You can use it for everyday things. I mostly use it for food places,” Catherine Malcynsky, sophomore English major at Boston College (BC), said.
Paying with the app is easy and allows customers to add a tip to their total, and merchants to refund purchases.
“A big draw for students is all the discounts and deals that we offer for really popular off-campus restaurants, like at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese in Allston you save 20 percent if you use looped in,” Allie Flannery, BC representative for looped in, said. “College students are always looking to save money so there is a draw there.”
looped in can be used to make payments at over 60 local restaurants and businesses, including Sunset Cantina and Boston House of Pizza, and new merchants are frequently added to the list.
“We are looking to expand to other cities, probably in the next two years, but for now we want to saturate the Boston market,” Brittany Diamond, Boston collegiate manager of looped in, said. “We are already sponsors of Boston University (BU) and BC and we want to align with other colleges, like Northeastern.”
looped in is not yet officially a sponsor of Northeastern, but its services are still available to students.
“For colleges we go through athletics and become official sponsors of the team since athletics rules [sic] college events and brings [sic] in money,” Flannery said. “Then we become a form of payment at the arena.”
looped in will be using its athletic connections with Boston University to host an event with giveaways to promote the app when Northeastern plays BU on Feb. 28.
The app can be connected directly to a bank account, or fixed amounts can be added to the looped in account from debit and credit cards. The app is secured through password protection, and payments require an additional PIN to keep funds safe even if the phone is lost.
“I think students will use this app because it is the only mobile app that is proven to be secure because other apps do not have the background in security that we have,” Diamond said. “Also, because of our partnership with schools, we can host events on campus because we are official sponsors, so we offer another way to be involved in the school community.”