Hi Felix, tell us a bit about PAYCELET.
PAYCELET is a contactless payment bracelet, hence the name, Pay(bra)celet. Contactless payment wearables have been around for some time now, and although they are very convenient to use, I couldn’t find one that I wanted to wear or I that could identify with. So, I decided to start a company and develop my own. In the past, I have built a few other e-commerce brands, the last one, recently sold to investors, was a massage gun – a market that has become hugely popular in recent years. Similarly, I believe there is enormous potential in the payment wearables market, especially when you consider the opportunities of onboarding additional contactless services to a wearable. With PAYCELET we want to be the market leader in this segment.
What is unique about PAYCELET?
To start with, all the wristbands are made from recycled PET bottles. Offering users a sustainable product was important because that’s a major part of our DNA. The wristbands are also available in different colors and easily interchangeable, so that you can match them to your outfit or mood. In the future other types of straps will be available. Tech-wise, the chip that handles secure payments is the newly launched SECORA Pay chip from Infineon. It delivers a seamless experience for all our customers when using the Fidesmo app to connect to a PAYCELET wearable, whether they are iOS or Android mobile users. PAYCELET is smart, secure, and stylish which is why it has been awarded a Red Dot Design Award in the smart products category – something that I am extremely proud of.
You mentioned security, how is that handled?
Security is a critical part of any payment solution which is why our products utilize the Fidesmo platform. They provide the tokenization technology – which ensures all payments are highly secure – as well as the connection to banks and payment providers, such as Mastercard and Visa. Fidesmo even supported us with the secure element chips, which is how we ended up imbedding the new Infineon chips into PAYCELETs. The security part of the business went very smoothly; my toughest challenges came in the early design phase of the wearables.
What were some of these challenges?
I wanted manufacturing to be European-based, so I had to find companies that could produce recycled wristbands in the colors, styles, and quantities I wanted. I also had to find a robust material to house the payment chip that could be molded to my designs and handle the payment process. Some materials, particularly metals, block the transfer of signals between chips and Point-of-Sale card readers, and therefore couldn’t be used. In the end we decided to go for high-tech ceramics. Today, we use two different European manufacturers, one for the wristbands in Portugal and one for the ceramic contactless devices in Germany. Then of course we had to patent the designs and products which is a major undertaking, but one that will be critical for us as we expand.
That’s one of the great things about working with Fidesmo, they manage the security, financial regulations, and partnerships with banks and chip manufacturers, so we can focus on developing our product, market, and business.
What are your plans for PAYCELET?
We’re currently focusing on the local market here in Germany, but that’s not to say we’re not open for business abroad. This means using all the relevant social channels, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. We’re attending some events to create buzz, such as the Uferlos Festival a ten-day music and arts festival sponsored by VimPay, one of the German payment providers on the Fidesmo platform. Ultimately, I see us expanding into the rest of Europe and the US. As I mentioned, I’m really excited by the potential for offering additional contactless services to payments onto wearables. Since I first met Fidesmo they have launched Fidesmo Car keys, for opening and starting cars and Fidesmo Links, a digital business card. There’s a lot of potential for onboarding new contactless services onto a wearable. Service that people will want to have and will use.