March 30, 2014
Why do we need to do so much of work (so many inputs on small screen, remembering passwords/PINs) when it comes to mobile payments. Those purchases on Ecommerce sites through the mobile browser need to be simplified. Payfone figured that out and is providing industry leading mobile identity authentication service.
Think about it, When you make a call, do you have to input your username and password? You don't authenticate every time but the carrier knows you and provides you a secure billing environment in which you can freely makes call. Even when you go abroad your carrier knows you and you can just make a call. No need to put the username, password, or pin. Using a combination of security parameters you are automatically authenticated. Now imagine when you are purchasing something using your smartphone and you press 'BUY' button you could be authenticated just the same way. Wouldn't that be game changing?
Payfone is a secure mobile authentication services company which was founded in 2008. The company is backed by major American banks and payments processors such as American Express, Early Warning and Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo and telecom operators such as Verizon Wireless, Rogers Communications, It is headquartered at New York and operates in three business segment namely, Banking, Commerce and Enterprises providing secure mobile authentication products and services. The Payfone Merchant Hub includes over 300,000 merchants which includes world’s leading app stores and content brands.
IN DECEMBER last year (2013) Payfone announced that it will use an AT&T application programming interface (API) toolkit to access network data that adds to Payfone’s existing service. Using the API toolkit, Payfone’s service will allow businesses to confirm that the device being used during a transaction is authenticated on AT&T’s mobile network. With AT&T, Payfone can now authenticate common mobile applications and services such as mobile banking, commerce and corporate email for any of the 107.9 million AT&T mobile subscribers.
Founders: Company was founded by Rodger Desai and Mike Brody in 2008. Founders have rich experience in multiple technology and payment firms. Roger was co-founder and CEO of Rave Wireless and CEO of the Vettro Corp (an innovator in mobile banking and brokerage). He also has experience of working in LBS apps, J2ME and Accenture’s telecom practice. Similarly, Mike was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at RRE Ventures. Mike was part of the founding team of the African Leadership Academy (a start-up pan African secondary school) and worked for PIMCO Funds (Allianz Global Investors) and GenuOne, a Boston-based start-up specializing in tracking solutions to protect consumer goods companies against counterfeit and unauthorized distribution.
Investors: Payfone has attracted USD 40 million of funding till now from multiple PE/VC investors such as American Express, Verizon, Relay ventures and RRE Ventures. Payfone till date has raised funding from three round of funding with latest PE funding coming from the Banking consortium Early Warning. Payfone is valued at ~ USD 500 million as per Industry estimates.
Future growth plan: Payfone is planning to use the funding proceeds to expand in new geographies such as EMEA, Asia and Latin America.