Krystian Kulczycki, CEO of PayEye tells us about introducing eye biometrics for commercial use in finance.
First of all, how have you and your family coped with the current COVID-19 situation?
Krystian Kulczycki: Thank you, so far, my family and I have not felt too much of the health consequences of COVID-19. I am glad that a vaccine is already available because it gives a good chance that both we and the whole world will slowly return to normality.
Tell us about yourself, your career, how you joined PayEye.
Krystian Kulczycki: PayEye’s authors and founders are two friends who share a shared passion for new technologies. From the beginning, they decided to build the company with a view to global reach. It turned out that with Daniel and Radek, we think similarly, we have a common goal, and at the right time, our paths crossed. Their advanced studies have been linked to some of the financial and payment services for which I have long been responsible as a board member of several banks in Poland. Fintech seemed like a natural way. This is where modern organizational structures can be combined with greater flexibility and speed of decision-making. We can carry out research, and their results are implemented. Indeed, it sounds a bit like an operation on a living organism, but that’s what I like.
How does PayEye innovate?
Krystian Kulczycki: Our project is revolutionary, not only by name. We were the first in the world to introduce eye biometrics for commercial use in finance. The introduction to the project of scientists, IT, and finance experts made a unique – convenient payment system based on its own solutions – The payEye ecosystem. It is based on payment acceptance and user identification using iris biometrics – currently, it’s the safest way to identify you. Today we are available in Poland, but we are already planning to expand into European and international markets. Biometrics has the advantage of supporting strong user authentication. It is already clear today that these solutions, in addition to payments, can be used much more widely – in our daily lives, for example, as a form of access to premises or warehouses, confirmation of contracts, decisions, or identification of persons even at the airport.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how have you coped?
Krystian Kulczycki: To a larger extent, the period of the pandemic has spared startups, and a large part of them continued development. This is a period of absolute digital transformation in many dimensions. This also applies to us because moving away from cash promotes our biometric payment system’s development. And we designed the customer service processes themselves as remote from the beginning. Our service has received significant interest because it’s of great convenience for users. If we forget the payment card, we can save our phone or watch with the connected card, but if we do not have one or the other, then what? Then only PayEye and eye payment will work.
Have you had to make difficult choices, and what have you learned?
Krystian Kulczycki: First of all, I have had to anticipate a lot more than I used to. The pandemic has changed the way we manage because, unfortunately, there are often absences of our crew, which creates many difficulties for us.
What specific tools, software, and management skills do you use to deal with this crisis?
Krystian Kulczycki: The coronavirus pandemic has caused us to have a significant change in communication with contractors. Instead of real-world travel – it doesn’t matter if it’s a meeting in Warsaw or on another continent – we have video conferencing that definitely saves time, and we see more efficiency in such meetings. I will honestly admit that before Covid, it was difficult to make serious video conferences, and that has now changed. But technology doesn’t replace networking and face-to-face meetings. Regretfully, in my opinion, online conferences have low efficiency as compared to traditional meetings.
Who are your competitors? And how are you going to “stay in the game”?
Krystian Kulczycki: Our competitors are representatives of the broader market of traditional payments. We have the advantage of convenience and security, which eye payment offers. But we do not treat our project as a fight with anyone, and above all, we allow customers the opportunity to choose. So, we are such a bridge between traditional payments and payments like us. We have an advantage in convenience. We increased payment security with the iris of the eye.
Krystian Kulczycki: Coronavirus pandemic has changed our habits and our sense of security. We will be rebuilding them for a long time, but on the other hand, we have had new opportunities. It made us learn that we don’t have to be at work, and we can still work efficiently.