With Yombu’s system, you can #paynaked
It happens to all of us. We are out and want to pick up a quick meal or other treat and realize we don’t have our wallet with cash and cards, or our phone with some payment app.
That’s what happened to Joe Falit, co-founder and CEO of Yombu. In the summer of 2015, Falit was out for a run and stopped at his gym for something to drink. On the run with no wallet, he was able to use the gym’s fingerprint ID system to charge the drink to his account, and the idea for Yombu was born. Suddenly he realized that this biometric technology could be used by all kinds of businesses to allow convenient and rapid transactions with their customers.
With Falit’s background in financial services from CitiBank combined with expert software development from Derek Sanford, chief technical officer and another founder, plus his team, the service was created and introduced late last year.
How does it work?
To sign up where Yombu is available takes less than 20 seconds at the cash register. The client swipes a credit card, inputs their phone number, scans their index finger on the customer terminal, and enters a 4-digit pin. From then on, when that person shops at any business offering Yombu, they need only their finger and their pin to pay.
Yombu points to some key features for consumers:
No more fumbling with cash or cards and there is never a charge to the customer to use Yombu. Buy that latte with the touch of your finger, literally.
Paying by fingerprint ensures fraud protection for that transaction. And the scanning device requires a live finger (so you couldn’t steal someone’s identity by cutting off their finger and paying with it.) Good to know!
Also, Yombu does not store fingerprint images in its database. Instead there is an alphanumeric representation of the fingerprint via one-way encryption. It is impossible to re-create the actual image of your fingerprint with this data.
Further Yombu does not store debit and/or credit card information. They work with Worldpay, a large payment processor with more than 165,000 merchants in the U.S., for the secure storage of credit card data.
Earn discounts automatically every time you pay. Each merchant has its own reward program which updates each time you pay with your finger.
For the merchant, the benefits also include increased sales, reduced chargebacks, more loyal customers, and the ability to know their customers so the merchant can offer additional services and incentives.
The most enthusiastic users of Yombu to date include young people, quick to adopt the latest technologies; women, preferring not to go searching through their purses to find a card, and parents with children in tow.
There are currently a couple dozen locations in the local area offering the Yombu advantage to their customers, names like Teas ‘n You, Phoenicia, Hot Yoga, Leid Poke, and Brx in Great Falls. As Yombu headquarters is located right in Tysons, they are signing up local businesses initially with plans to expand regionally and nationally in the near future.
For more information about the company or to suggest that your favorite merchant get on board, go to www.yombu.com.