The Innovators — A Conversation with Guy Talmi, CMO of PayKey
At this year’s Fintech Awards Luxembourg we recognised leading Fintech startups from around the world. In an effort to get to know these startups and their representatives better, we asked them a few questions as a part of our series of interviews: The Innovators.
This time we caught up with Guy Talmi, CMO of PayKey who won first runner up at the awards for their innovative mobile payments product.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your company?
PayKey was founded in 2015 by Daniel Peled (CEO) and Offer Markovich (CTO). During the participation in the Tel-Aviv Citi bank accelerator, we have developed our current offering — a social payment solution being sold to banks and other financial institutions around the world.
Now, with the support of strategic investors such as MasterCard, Santander Innoventures, Commerz Ventures and others, PayKey’s team grew up to 30 people and serve banks such as: Westpac in Australia, Garanti in Turkey, UOB in Singapore, Davivienda in Colombia, SpareBank 1 in Norway and others.
My first acquaintance with PayKey was as their mentor in the Microsoft Accelerator. During my mentorship, I’ve learned to appreciate the uniqueness of the solution and the huge opportunity, and decided to join as their CMO. I’ve been leading marketing activities in technology companies for the past 20 years and still passionate about disruptive solutions that change existing eco systems.
What led you to working in Fintech? Is there anything that particularly appeals to you about the field?
I started my career in the finance sector, working for Visa and them moving to the mobile world. Now, when many Fintech solutions combine these two worlds, I found myself in the place where I belong!
What have been your key challenges and opportunities in growing the user base of PayKey?
Our story telling to banks was relatively easy from the beginning. The P2P market is quiet hyped, and banks were really open to explore PayKey and the value that we bring to them.
Also, technology development and integration with the banks applications went smoothly. The biggest challenge we face now is to see more and more users onboard our solution. This is more of a marketing challenge of the banks, but as the technology provider — we also want to see high conversion and usage rates.
As you continue to push your Social Payment Solution, can you talk about any future features or vision that users can look forward to?
We started with P2P as the main user functionality, but quickly realised that our banking button, which is always in front of the user, can support many other financial services, information and communication with the bank. Today we support not only “make payment” but also “request payment”. In addition to the P2P, our banking button support a variety of information services such as account balance, last transactions, notifications and alerts. We also added Chatbot integration which makes the communication with the bank super secure and private.
With Brexit and the potential shifts in the European Fintech ecosystem, do you predict any changes in how Israel connects to this market?
European regulation with the PSD2 in the front will open up many additional opportunities to Fintechs, and as such I expect to see more and more Israeli companies entering the market.
What motivated you to apply to the Fintech Awards Luxembourg?
We are in a close working relations with KPMG and as such it was just natural for us to look at this event. Looking at the past events, type of participants and the level of exposure made it very easy for us to make that decision.
What do you think is the most attractive feature of Luxembourg as a potential destination for Fintech companies?
In my opinion, Luxemburg brings a great value of being one of the most important financial centers with a unique, intimate setup that drives the ability to connect and build relations quickly, all of this in the center of Europe.
Any personal insight about the world of financial technology or entrepreneurship you want to pass on to readers?
Financial technology innovation needs to address a real customer pain or problem. In that respect it’s no different than any other innovation. However, when you start touching money - the trust becomes one of the most important criteria and this is where I would put a lot of focus — how can I bring innovation that will still be trusted by the users?