From NFC News: Chicago-based start-up NFC Data Inc. has developed a new contactless key fob as a low-cost payment alternative to NFC phones, according to American Banker. (to request more information on NFC Data's Sqwizz, please click here) Designed to be toted around on a key chain, Sqwizz houses a mobile decoupled debit card that users can link to any checking account of their choosing to make contactless payments at the point of sale. The device can also perform other NFC functions, such as reading tags and smart posters, sharing data with other NFC phones, and storing loyalty points and coupons. The Sqwizz is set up kind of like an MP3 player, with a scrollable menu screen that lets users choose which function to perform. The back of the device contains a small PIN pad used to verify the holder’s identity before an action is performed. According to American Banker, NFC Data has already made an agreement with a Silicon Valley company to launch 100,000 Sqwizz devices in August. The company is currently looking for a bank to co-brand the device’s contactless payment function. NFC Data is also working on creating an app that would bring Sqwizz capabilities to NFC-enabled smart phones, says American Banker. Read more here.
Read more: ePayment News Blog: Low Cost Payment Alternative to NFC Phones http://epaymentnews.blogspot.com/2011/03/low-cost-payment-alternative-to-nfc.html#ixzz1ObtqoSpK
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June 07, 2011 08:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time
eWise Secures $14 Million in Financing Led by Wellington Partners
DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eWise, a global payments and online financial management solutions provider, has closed a $14 million financing round, led by venture capital firm Wellington Partners. Previous investors also participated in this round, including Balderton Capital, TTV Capital and Patagorang.
eWise’s technology already powers global brands such as U.S. Bank, and this funding enables the company to accelerate its plans to transform the payments landscape. It will drive the expansion of Secure Vault Payments® in the U.S. and of eWise payo in the U.K. eWise will also unveil a mobile solution, which will be piloted later this year.
“eWise is exactly the type of company Wellington likes to back – global and disruptive with tremendous potential. eWise is targeting markets which still rely heavily on cash and checks, as well as ecommerce and point-of-sale opportunities with the introduction of its innovative mobile solution. In the U.S., these initial markets represent over five billion transactions per year. We are delighted to work with Alex Grinberg and his team to support the growth of eWise,” says Wellington Venture Partner Alexandre Gonthier, who has joined the board of eWise. Gonthier has a long track record with successful companies in the online and mobile payment sector including iPIN (now part of Aeopona) and Paymo/BOKU.
eWise’s technology provides consumers with the most convenient, secure and cost-effective way to pay online using their bank account straight from a merchant’s site – without a credit or debit card. It also gives banks and merchants the only online payment option that provides real-time authorization of funds and guaranteed payments – at costs typically lower than traditional and other alternative payment methods. Over the past decade, eWise has worked with leading financial institutions such as HSBC, Westpac and Ping An, delivering solutions that make transacting online easier and more secure for millions of end-users worldwide.
The new funding round will enable eWise to continue its global expansion, bringing online banking electronic payments (OBeP) to new markets, and to focus on expanding the Secure Vault Payments network and accelerating consumer adoption. Secure Vault Payments was launched in 2010 by eWise and NACHA – Electronic Payments Association, which acts as the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network regulator in the U.S. It is being implemented by nearly 40 financial institutions including U.S. Bank, America’s fifth-largest bank. By the end of this year, eWise anticipates more than 30 million consumers will be enabled to transact over the Secure Vault Payments network. eWise payo launched in the UK in January 2011.
Dharmash Mistry, partner at Balderton Capital, added: “eWise has a simple yet disruptive proposition – pay online or on mobile through your bank account – which is faster and safer for consumers, more profitable for banks and merchants, and underpinned by great technology. Alex and his team are rapidly transforming the way people around the world make payments, and we are very pleased to deepen our involvement with this exciting company.”
Alex Grinberg, CEO of eWise, said: “eWise is really taking off as we continue to aggressively grow the network while investing in delivery of an outstanding user experience – focused on speed, simplicity and security. We already have significant financial institution traction with Secure Vault Payments and eWise payo, which are embraced by the industry as bank-friendly alternative payment systems that link consumers directly to their financial institutions.”
eWise is a payments and online financial management solutions provider with a reputation for providing innovative solutions that make transacting online easier and more secure. eWise offices in UK, US, China and Australia support some of the world's top 50 financial institutions with solutions delivering outstanding, proven ROI for its customers and a better online experience for millions of end-users worldwide. The company is well positioned to take advantage of growing demand for alternative payments and continues to work with other members of the International Council of Payment Network Operators (ICPNO) to develop interoperability between international payment networks. For more information, visit www.ewise.com.
About Wellington Partners
Wellington Partners is one of the most successful pan-European venture capital firms. With some $1.2 billion under management and offices in London, Munich, Palo Alto and Zurich, the firm invests into companies throughout Europe and the US that have the potential to become global leaders, in the areas of Digital Media, Cleantech, Electronics, Software and Life Sciences.
Since 1998, Wellington Partners has invested in more than 100 companies in Europe, the US and Israel, including now publicly traded Actelion and XING and successful privately held companies like Alando (acquired by eBay), Ciao (acquired by Microsoft) and ImmobilienScout24 (acquired by Deutsche Telekom). For more information please visit www.wellington-partners.com.
About Balderton Capital
Balderton Capital is one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe. Based in London, Balderton manages $1.9 billion in committed venture capital, and has invested in over 100 companies, principally in Europe but also in the US and Asia. Balderton focuses on the technology sector and notable investments include Betfair (floated on the LSE in October 2010), LOVEFiLM (sold to Amazon in January 2011), The Hut Group, World Stores and KupiVUP.ru (three of Europe’s fast growing online retailers), bebo (acquired by AOL for $850m), YOOX Group (listed in Milan in December 2009) and MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion). For more information visit www.balderton.com.
About TTV Capital
TTV Capital was founded in 2000 as one of the few venture firms focused exclusively on investing in technology-enabled financial services companies. TTV Capital partners possess more than 100 years of collective experience operating, investing and building technology-enabled financial services business. The firm specializes in early stage businesses operating in the banking, payments, capital markets, data analytics and security sectors. For more information visit www.ttvcapital.com.