According to Business Insider, two trademarks filed by Snapchat lawyers may suggest that Snapchat may try to monetize through mobile payments or mobile credit card processing, unlike the traditional way through selling advertisements.
Snapchat has filed three trademarks. The first, granted in July 2013, defined Snapchat as a “computer application software for mobile phones, portable media players, and handheld computers, namely, software for sending digital photos, videos, images, and text to others via the global computer network.” This sounds like the Snapchat we all know.
These two filed in July paint a different picture:
- “Computer application software for processing electronic payments to and from others that may be downloaded from a global computer network”
- “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”
Snapchat could use payments to monetize is many ways, including through in-app purchases of virtual goods, encouraging users to buy products through flash sales with advertisers, or a Venmo-like service that lets users send payments to one another. Snapchat could also be defensive; Facebook may be exploring payment space as well as they recently hired PayPal CEO David Marcus.
There does not appear to be any patents filed with the trademarks. Traditionally a company needs to provide a statement of use within six months once a trademark’s intent to use has been granted, so we could be seeing what Snapchat has planned relatively soon.