Snapchat, the ephemeral mobile messaging company, could step into the online payment processing market.
According to a trademark and service mark application filed by the company on July 11 and issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, the company appears to be exploring electronic payments as a new revenue stream.
The trademark and service mark describe two types of services related to the electronic payment processing market:
Trademark 86335306: “Computer application software for processing electronic payments to and from others that may be downloaded from a global computer network”
Service mark 86335307: “Electronic transfer of money for others; providing electronic processing of electronic funds transfer, ACH, credit card, debit card, electronic check and electronic, mobile and online payments”
As Snapchat’s popularity has grown since its launch in 2011, concerns have been raised about how it plans to monetize its service. Advertising, sponsorships and other monetization routes were all speculated on.
Co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel previously told TechCrunch in 2013 that SnapChat was considering monetizing its service through in-app purchases. But based on the trademarks filed by the Venice, California, messaging company, e-payments may be the route the company plans to take for monetization.
Of course it wouldn't be not alone. In June, Paypal’s David Marcus left the company for Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) to become its head of messaging products, sparking rumors of new monetization strategies for the social networking giant.
Snapchat's plans for its new trademark and service mark are unknown. Should the company join the mobile payment processing market, it will compete with the likes of Square, Venmo and others, which take a fee for each transaction.