Polish startup PayEye beats the competition in biometric technology
Polish startup PayEye is the first company in the world to offer a solution to pay with your eye. The small company not only seriously competed with giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon but also outperformed them.
PayEye’s founders are Daniel Jarząb and Radosław Ruda. The idea to create iris scanning technology came to them by chance while having lunch together in a restaurant in 2018. It turned out that the friends had forgotten their money at home, and the now-familiar Apple Pay service had just appeared and was not available to most consumers. This situation got the inventors thinking about how to make payments as convenient as possible without the need for additional tools.
PayEye business overview
For the past five years, the startup has been actively working on biometric technology. In addition to the solution itself, it was necessary to create a relevant ecosystem and obtain approvals. To this end, PayEye has attracted partners who have helped to solve all the problems and start testing. The project is already operating in a test format in Poland. It involves around 200 establishments where you can pay your bill by scanning your retina. Most of these locations are in Wroclaw, where the company’s headquarters are.
PayEye plans to enter the international market – the first region will be the USA. A representative team is forming in the country, and commercial deals are underway. In addition, a pilot project will be in place in Dubai in 2024.
The startup is working with the major payment systems Visa and Mastercard. IT Card and Stripe, which provide payment solutions, also support PayEye.
There are several sources of funding for the startup:
– PayEye received an initial investment of €1 million from the founders to start the business;
– a major business angel provided a further €1 million;
– the startup received €3 million from an EU funding programme;
– Colters Capital from Liechtenstein invested €5 million.
It has also received several million euros in funding from a foundation, but details are not yet known.
Features of the technology
Retina payment is made through a special application. When first used, the application provides a biometric code of the eyes and face. The latter performs the functions of a contactless payment method via a smartphone. PayEye terminals are installed in shops where it is possible to pay by retina.
The device scans the correspondence between the eye’s iris and the one the application defines. This requires the user to look at the dots on the screen for about a second. At the same time, the terminal scans the face as an additional check. If there are problems with the reading, the application may ask you to enter a PIN code.