September 27, 2013
What if you were browsing on your desktop or your tablet and bought something online and could pay in a jiffy using your smartphone. Its possible says Ensygnia. And according to them its simple, fast, secure mobile transactions: online, in store and on the go. Their solution claims to allow easy online shopping, enable skipping of queues in stores and make secure mobile payments from any digital screen.
UK based startup Ensygnia, is the latest entrant in the business of online authentication, transaction and security. Ensygnia was founded in 2011 by Richard H. Harris and Matt Deacon. In 2012, the company received $1.6 Mn in total as funding through Richard Harris, Gillian Kerr and Kevin Taylor. Ensygnia further received $904k in seed funding through the same investors in April 2013. In June, Wayra invested $3.3 Mn in the company.
Ensygnia claims that its competitive and differential advantage lies in its focus on usability. Onescan app which is a SaaS platform, allows users to make payments by scanning a code with a mobile application. The technology is owned by South American, Azuan, for which Ensygnia is the first global master distributor. Bank details need to be provided only once and not every time a transaction is made through credit or debit cards. Additionally, there is no need for user names and passwords to process payment.
In 2012 Ensygnia formed a strategic partnership with US PCI compliance ExoIS to provide a secure solution. Thus Onescan encrypted QR code technology of Ensygnia and Ensygnia Trust isolated browser approach was incorporated into ExoIS’s PeepSafe solution. This partnership further increased the security of PeepSafe, by adding Ensygnia’s browser and Onescan technology to its hosted secure encrypted portal. The partnership allowed Ensygnia to offer PCI Level 1 compliant services as an all-inclusive solution to the UK and EMEA markets. The tie-up also proved how in a short span of time, Ensygnia has been able to make a mark to alliance with a proven market leader.
Ensygnia has received two patents in UK and formed partnerships with developers and solution providers such as Azuan Technologies. The company is in discussions with a number of major international distributors, companies, and financial institutions about licensing and using both Onescan and Ensygnia Trust. The firm has gone ahead and acted on its International Patent Pending status, filing applications in 59 countries, chosen on basis of their level of internet and e-commerce usage.
The major competitors in this field include Paddle, MPayMe and Reply. Paddle was founded by Ed Lea in 2012 and has received a total funding of £300,000 ($404,550) from venture firm EC1 Capital as well as friends and family. When a consumer comes to the website checkout stage, he clicks ‘Pay with Paddle’. Then the QR code that is generated is scanned with the help of Paddle app to complete the payment process. Consumers purchasing for the first time must add a credit or debit card to their Paddle account.
LTP View: There are players that exist in this space. Competitors like Paddle (whose patent-pending technology does not require usernames or passwords and works with any funding source), MPayMe ( which needs no infrastructure facilitating faster B2B,B2C,C2B and P2P payments with products such as Z-Nap) and others like Reply offer the same facility to shoppers to scan barcodes to process payments rather than entering bank details. Still, its a sizeable market to tap, with several pain points and has space for some more players. And certainly space for a lot of innovation. It’s only with time that we can conclude whether Ensygnia will be able to make a dent in the market or not