Eric Schmidt Invests In Twitter Payments Service

Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt has invested in Twitpay, which is developing a platform for users to send money directly via Twitter. The companies didn’t disclose the size of the investment.

Twitpay used  to leverage Amazon Payments to let Twitter users send money to one another, but in 2010 the company narrowed its focus to charitable giving.

Now, Twitpay’s R2TGive service helps charities collect payments via Twitter. Here’s how it works: a charity like the Red Cross puts out a tweet requesting donations. Users visit the R2TGive site and enter their credit card information. Then, users retweet the message with a dollar amount. R2TGive sends a direct message to confirm the donation, and as soon as the user responds, it’s debited

The company has broader ambitions, though: it’s working on Twitter payment platforms for online games and general e-commerce.

Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures joined with CompuCredit Holdings, which helps provide financial services for “underserved” Americans, in the investment. Tomorrow’s previous investments include several other online payment and finance startups, including Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending marketplace, and Giiv, which lets users send cash gifts via SMS.¬†

Schmidt is handing over the CEO position to Google cofounder Larry Page in April, but will stay on as the company’s executive chairman, overseeing relationships with big customers, partners, and government regulators.

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