Keyboard Payments App PayKey Raises $10 Million in Series B

EXCLUSIVE – Banking keyboard app, PayKey closed a $10 million Series B funding round today bringing the fintech’s total investment to $16 million since its establishment in 2014.

The funding will be used to fuel the company’s growth strategy in the Asian market, Daniel Peled, CEO and Co-Founder of PayKey told Bank Innovation.

“We are targeting Asia because its banks are very innovative and technology-savvy,” he said. Peled said he is currently considering either Hong Kong or Tokyo for the company’s first office in Asia.

Today’s round of funding was led by Israeli investment firm MizMaa. Other investors include SBI Group, Digital Ventures (the fintech arm of Siam Commercial Bank), SixThirty, Fintech71 and The FinLab.

Based in Tel Aviv, PayKey is a keyboard application that allows financial institutions to provide a range of banking tools through any messenger system, “even a closed  network like WhatsApp,” Peled said. “Today nobody wants another messenger. And it’s not enough to be mobile-first, so we created PayKey which extends a banking app into a messenger wall,” he said.

With its patent pending Mobile Banking Keyboard, the app lets banks give their customers the ability to carry out functions like P2P payments, balance check, cardless cash withdrawal, chatbot engagement from within any messenger application without needing to open the bank’s app.

PayKey uses API technology to offer a cross-platform banking button on a smartphone. To use PayKey, the user doesn’t need to download the app, but instead has to upgrade the banking app on their phone. Since the technology is the actual keyboard, the control lies with the banks and not the messenger system.

“Most people don’t think of their keyboard as an app, but really that’s the most used app because it fits on everything,” Peled said. “And since both Google and Apple enabled consumers to change their keyboard, the ecosystem of keyboards are changing and advancing rapidly.”

In addition to expanding in Asia, Peled said he’s gearing to launch in the U.S. soon. He declined to provide a timeline.

The company is also currently working with MasterCard on future partnerships. Peled declined to disclose the specifics of these projects.

Among PayKey’s current banking customers are Westpac in Australia, Davivienda in Columbia, UOB in Singapore, Garanti in Turkey, Sparebank in Norway, and Bank Leumi in Israel.

Investors in the company’s first round of funding include CommerzVentures, Santander InnoVentures, SBI Group, Siam Commerical Bank, Mastercard, MizMaa, Digital Ventures,, Wharton Asset Management and Magma VC.

The company expects its customers to more than double in the next six months, Peled said.

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Tatjana Kulkarni is Deputy Editor at Bank Innovation. Before Bank Innovation, she was the marketing coordinator at conference producer Capital Roundtable. Prior to that she was a business reporter for nearly three years at The Deal. She has an M.A. in International Relations from New York University and a B.A. in Journalism from L.I.U. Post. In her spare time she travels as much as possible, making it a point to visit at least one new country per year.

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