Saturday 26 September 2015

Kerv, the world's first contactless payment ring, launches on Kickstarter

Kerv, the London fintech startup, today launches the world's first contactless payment ring on in a bid to raise £77k mass-production capital via crowdfunding.

Kerv wearers can make instant contactless payments of £30 or lower with a single gesture – no card, PIN, or paired smartphone required. Accepted anywhere in the world that takes contactless payments, Kerv is always on hand, removing the need to carry a wallet, purse, cash or cards – perfect for those with active lifestyles. The Kerv ring never needs charging and doesn't need to be paired with a smartphone to work, unlike some power-hungry smartwatches sporting contactless payment functionality.

Kerv seamlessly blends form with function, creating a beautiful and understated piece of wearable tech which, uniquely, looks and feels nothing like a piece of wearable tech. Available in black or white, Kerv's sleek outer shell is engineered from zirconia ceramic, a material most often found in nuclear reactors and spacecraft. And dental surgeries. Zirconia is lightweight, hypoallergenic and one of the most scratch-resistant materials on the planet, necessary for an item of functional jewellery designed to be worn all day, every day. Kerv is also waterproof.

Beyond retail payments, Kerv can be used on the Transport for London network (and other global cities' mass transit systems). Kerv also offers instant sharing of emergency, medical or contact details at the tap of an NFC-enabled phone, plus one-touch access via compatible NFC locks and security systems – which means even more pocket junk can be left at home.

Kerv founder, Philip Campbell, said, "Currently, wearable payment devices are either eye-wateringly expensive or thoroughly unattractive. But the biggest issue I have is that they're all worn on the wrist, which has to be placed flat against the contactless reader in a way that feels extremely unnatural and awkward. With a creative background – plus eight years' experience in payments – I felt we could do better. So we did, designing Kerv to be the most ergonomic, natural and convenient contactless payment method possible."

Phil continued: "We feel Kerv is a perfect fit for Kickstarter, but we don't just see the campaign as a way of raising the funds to take Kerv to mass production; we want to elicit the input and support of a community of forward-thinking individuals that have a real desire to help bring great products to market. "

Kerv Chairman David Hunter added: "A lot of technology in payments strikes me as being a solution looking for a problem. I'm confident that Kerv will be well received on Kickstarter because it solves genuine problems, focuses on the user-experience and makes the underlying technology invisible."
Kerv, the world's first contactless payment ring, launches on Kickstarter today, Friday the 25th September.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Former Ukash CEO, David Hunter, appointed as Chairman of Kerv, the wearable payments start-up

Kerv the wearable payments start-up, today announces the appointment of former Ukash CEO, David Hunter, as Chairman of its board of directors.

This announcement comes ahead of the imminent crowd-funding campaign for the start-up’s launch product: Kerv – the world’s first contactless payment ring.
Kerv founder, Philip Campbell, said, “We’ve fused fashion and function to produce a beautiful piece of wearable NFC technology that we genuinely believe will appeal to a mass audience, not just to the tech-savvy. David has considerable experience bringing payments products to market across multiple territories, and will be instrumental in helping us deliver Kerv to the widest possible audience.” Philip added: “I’ve known and admired David for many years, and I’m very excited to be working with him on Kerv.”

Responding to the announcement, David commented: “I’m an avid supporter of technology and payments innovation. The Kerv contactless payment ring encompasses both, and I’m delighted to be part of the dedicated and enthusiastic team that’s bringing it to life.”

The Kerv contactless payment ring will be launching on Kickstarter at 7am GMT on Friday 25th September.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Ukash changes name to paysafecard

Following the acquisition of Ukash by paysafecard earlier this year, Ukash is switching to paysafecard. paysafecard, the global market leader in prepaid online payment methods and member of the international Skrill Group, announces that from 31st August 2015 onwards, Ukash vouchers will be replaced by paysafecard vouchers at retailers across the UK.

Paysafecard has already been available in the UK for many years and offers a wide range of advantages such as innovative online accounts and 24/7 customer service in several languages. Ukash vouchers will still be accepted for redemption at online shops until 31st October 2015.

Paysafecard offers a secure and fast prepaid payment solution for online digital goods and services. There is no need to enter personal information, bank or credit card details when paying at an online shop. With paysafecard, retailers and partners attract consumers who want to benefit from the extensive offerings and global presence of paysafecard as well as the greater choice of thousands of online shops where paysafecard is accepted. The product is available worldwide at over 500,000 sales outlets in 40 countries. The company paysafecard is known for its innovative solutions and the diversity of additional services like the mobile app and round the clock assistance in a wide range of languages from the customer service team. Therefore, switching from Ukash to paysafecard has many advantages for both customers and retailers alike.

A comprehensive campaign has been launched to ensure that retailers currently selling Ukash and consumers holding Ukash vouchers are aware of upcoming changes. This includes messages on the Ukash website and in direct marketing campaigns. Also, a retailer engagement programme is being undertaken throughout August to provide outlets with new point of sale merchandise and information about paysafecard for their customers.

A consumer promotion is also being launched in August offering current Ukash customers the chance to try out the paysafecard service with a free £5 paysafecard PIN.

Udo Müller, CEO of paysafecard, comments: “The acquisition of Ukash has given us the opportunity to expand the choice for consumers wanting to make secure online payments. We have brought together the best of the prepaid technologies from both Ukash and paysafecard to give consumers a safe and easy way to make online payments and we are now embarking on a nationwide campaign to ensure the retailers and users are aware of the changes taking place.”

Thursday 18 June 2015

The Emerging Payments Association launches world's first dedicated payments incubator: the Catalyst

London, 18th June 2015 - The Emerging Payments Association (EPA) today announces the launch of its incubator for early stage payments companies, the Catalyst. The Catalyst provides access to investors, workspace, mentors and commercial partners in association with MasterCard and The Bancorp. The Catalyst beneficiaries - its ‘Rising Stars' - are new entrants to the fintech industry, mostly founder-owned and with a combined investment and revenue between £0.5m and £2m in the last twelve months. Six payment companies have already been selected for the programme.
"With the rapid growth of fintech, many entrepreneurs have recognised that at the core of their business model lies payments. But the emerging payments industry is highly complex, rapidly changing, difficult to enter and it's easy to get it wrong," says David Hunter, Advisory Board member of the EPA. "So we are now helping the Rising Stars of the industry to get it right. These are those early stage companies that have strong propositions and ambitious leaders who need help from the community."
"Access to an established network of like-minded payments professionals and a fee-free package that takes the risk - and angst - out of being a fintech payments entrepreneur is a winner for our Rising Stars," concluded Hunter.
The first six Rising Stars come from Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary and the UK:
In its first year, the Catalyst aims to help 25 Rising Stars to innovate more effectively and scale their businesses. As well as receiving help with raising funds and guidance from mentors, Rising Stars will also showcase their products, receive online and social media exposure, and meet prospective partners and clients through the EPA network.
"We have been supporters of the EPA right from the very start. The launch of the Catalyst marks a new milestone in supporting the payments industry's newest innovators. We look forward to supporting them with opportunities for members to visit our offices, see our products and solutions and benefit from our mentoring. Moreover, it is a two-way dialogue, and the Catalyst members will also be offered the chance to present to us and showcase their own products/services and solutions. Indeed, MasterCard can also learn and discover from new entrants and this will be a big part of our continuing innovation efforts," said Scott Abrahams, Group Head Acceptance and Emerging Payments, MasterCard.
"The Bancorp is both delighted and honoured to be a Benefactor of the Catalyst alongside MasterCard. Delivering excellence in payments innovation and supporting partners to create successful payments businesses is core to our strategy and fits perfectly with the goals of the Catalyst. We look forward to being involved in this excellent initiative," said Kriya Patel, Managing Director, The Bancorp.
Rising Star quotes
Cashwave"Cashwave is pleased to be among the first group of Rising Star technology companies participating in the Catalyst. We are thrilled to be part of the program which we hope will increase visibility for our innovative product among the financial industry as well as end users. We are looking forward to improving our product via access to industry expertise and know-how and valuable partnerships with both industry leaders and other start-ups"
Stoytcho Vlaykov, Founder of Cashwave
Cubits"Cubits is thrilled to be selected as one of the ‘Rising Stars' of the Catalyst initiative. We live in exciting times. Our increasingly connected global society demands safer, faster and cheaper ways to pay. The Emerging Payments Association is a great response to those challenges as the open exchange of ideas can only benefit the industry as a whole. Our specialism, Bitcoin, is a powerful new technology enabling low transaction fees, the elimination of fraud, high security features and instant global money transfers. We believe it has a lot to offer the future payments landscape. As a UK company, Cubits is ready to share and learn, and we hope that our contribution will help make the UK a global leader in payment innovation." 
Tim Rehder, CEO, Cubits
W2 Global Data"The combination of access to an influential network, hot desk facilities in a prime London location and added mentorship struck the right note for a start-up like W2. We fully intend to make the most of the Rising Star opportunities over the next 12 months."
Warren Russell, CEO, W2 Global Data

Monday 18 May 2015

GPS appoints former Head of Issuing at Optimal Payments PLC

London – May 18th, 2015 – Leading global payments processor Global Processing Services (GPS) today announced that Suresh Vaghjiani will be joining their Senior Management team as Executive Vice President of Card Services.  Suresh commented, “We have all witnessed the growth of GPS globally in recent years and it is certainly exciting to be part of the team tasked with continuing the expansion of our global footprint”.
In his former role as Director of Issuing at Optimal Payments PLC, Suresh successfully established the Issuing and newly formed Card Services division.  Previously, as a founding member of Kalixa Payments Group, in his role as Head of Kalixa Pay, Suresh launched the award winning Kalixa prepaid card across international markets.  Suresh has a substantial understanding of electronic money, throughout its complete value chain from Issuing to Acquiring, with strategic knowledge on what works and does not work in various international markets.
As a member of the UK Contactless Advisory Committee, Suresh worked with TFL to pilot some of the first contactless prepaid products used on the London transport network.  In 2011, Suresh launched the first ever contactless wristwatch in the UK.  This is in addition to being responsible for launching the first App controlled NFC solution for i-phone in Europe.  Suresh is an elected Advisory Board member for the Emerging Payments Association.
GPS was founded in 2007 by the owners of Flex-e-vouchers (FEV).  FEV was one of the pioneers of prepaid Programme Management in Europe and continues to operate successfully today.   FEV’s founders identified weaknesses in prepaid processor capability and decided to launch a second business (GPS) that would provide the flexibility needed to service prepaid Programme Managers worldwide.  GPS is a MasterCard, Visa Inc. and Visa Europe accredited processor.  The platform was built in-house from the ground up and is tailored to prepaid card functionality, utilising the multi-year experience gained from operating one of the largest programme management companies in Europe.
Neil Weeks, Chief Commercial Officer at GPS commented, “Suresh is a well-known and respected industry expert.  We are delighted to announce his appointment to our senior management team”.
Tony Kerr, Chief Executive Officer at GPS added, “Suresh has a depth of product and industry knowledge that is amongst the finest in our sector.  We believe that Suresh will strengthen our executive team, further underpinning our global rollout strategy”.