Barcelona based start up, PayTouch started a new financing round of €1 million (US$1.4M). The startup offers biometric system of identification and fingerprint payment solutions and has managed to raise the first 300,000€ (US$413,000 approx). This first investment comes from private funding from business supporters from Argentina, Ecuador and Singapore.
The company plans to expand its footprint, post the new capital injection and relocate the headquarters to a territory where the growth potential of the company is bigger. Asia shall be the focus of this expansion.
Javier Peso, CEO, PayTouch, says, “First of all, one of our investors is installed in Singapore and has a special interest in our penetration in the Asian market. Furthermore, according to our market research, Asia is one of the regions of highest number and volume of payment transactions and points of sales. In addition, the GR (growth tendency) is spectacular in this region.”
PayTouch is focused on Singapore owing to the country’s high consumption rate and quick adoption of technology. Also, biometric payments listed in the roadmap of technological development of the country, thus, it facilitates the government support. “In the next stages of the project, we want to be present in Singapore and South Korea,” added Peso.
The company was founded in 2009 and began the development of its first version of product with a seed capital of €50,000 in addition to €650,000 from loans granted by public entities that helped the innovation and technological development.
“After these first years, the startup continues to face hopefully the following stages that the project requires and is fighting to become one of the referees who want to change the paradigm of the traditional payment systems,” expressed Peso.
Usage of biometrics in payments can make payments easier in the absence of a card, and can make remembering card numbers, card CVC numbers and other PIN numbers redundant. Besides, they can be added security feature. According to Frost & Sullivan, projects like MOBIO (Mobile Biometry) in Europe, which are aiming to develop advanced biometric tech solutions for authentication on personal mobile devices, are noteworthy.
Jean-Noel Georges, Global Program Director, ICT in Financial Services, Frost & Sullivan, was quoted as saying in an official release, “The time is now right for biometric technology to emerge as a secure solution for mobile applications that require high levels of security, particularly payment. From a pure-payment security point of view, biometrics has already delivered significant advantages.”
PayTouch, however, takes biometrics beyond the mobile phone and extends it to payment solutions on machines and kiosks.
PayTouch currently has clients in the hospitality industry with its first installation happening in 2012 in Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel (located on the island of Ibiza, Spain) and a nightclub named Pacha located in another Spanish island named Mallorca.
While it began with local goals of leaving its mark in super markets and stories in Spain, PayTouch soon started aspiring to go international post its installation in Ibiza. It also has signed up with another “two major hotel chains”, to offer the service from next year. Peso did not disclose the names of these chains.
According to Frost & Sullivan, remembering PINs could become soon a thing of the past. With biometrics the user is the unique key to device, application, and payment security, making it a high rank of protection. But even if these technologies are ready, the cost and complexity of integrating them into mobile devices make widespread rollout a huge challenge.
Georges expects biometrics to become “increasingly prevalent over the course of the next 3-4 years, driven by a desire among vendors and consumers alike to be better protected when accessing mobile services.”
Pictures courtesy: PayTouch