PayKey Wins Demo Contest at Bank Innovation Israel

paykey-fw_TEL AVIV — PayKey, an intriguing Israeli startup that lets banks offer payments on any social media platform — and we mean any — won the demo contest at Bank Innovation Israel 2016 here this week.

PayKey beat out 12 other finalists at the DEMOvation Challenge at Bank Innovation Israel, which is presented by this blog. The runner-up was Verifyoo, which provides a non-intrusive, revocable, active behavioral based solution, used as a replacement for other login methods. Revocability, of course, is something TouchID and many biometric solutions cannot offer.

PayKey addresses a unique challenge: allowing banks to offer payments services within popular social media platforms, like WhatsApp or Instagram, without forcing the FI to work through (read: compensate) those platforms.

PayKey’s solution is ingenious: It relies on the mobile phone’s keyboard to facilitate the payments.

Anyone who has added one of those bundles of emojis knows that adding a keyboard is no big deal. But PayKey realized that adding keyboards is not just about being able to 🎉 💸 📚 💣 ⛱ a message. It could also add functionality.

The functionality PayKey adds is a payment button, and that button can be branded to any FI. Think of, say, a little Chase symbol on your mobile’s keyboard that when you touch it, you initiate a payment to the person with whom you are Whatsapp-ing.

One of the judges at Bank Innovation Israel called it “really slick.” They also praised PayKey’s presentation skills.

The much-lauded PayKey won cash prizes from Bank Leumi, the host partner of Bank Innovation Israel, and Bank Innovation, as well as bragging rights.

PayKey was founded in 2014 and has raised $400,000 of funding to date, according to Crunchbase.

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