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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2017

Redefining the Landscape of Alternative Banking For Underbanked Population PayToo

thesiliconreview-michel-poignant-ceo-paytoo-2017We believe that all people worldwide should have equal access to affordable and convenient financial services.

Technological innovations and expanding digitalcapabilities have softened geographical barriers and changed consumer habits toward all things digital, creating the need for global, secure, and affordable financial platforms. To fulfill this need, Florida based PayToo developed the PayToo Digital Wallet – a truly Global Digital Wallet solution, offering underserved and unbanked communities, and full access to financial services without the constraint of a traditional bank account.

The company offers a unique product which targets a large portion of the population mostly ignored by the mainstream financial services industry. While the rest of the actors in this industry are focused on targeting customers who already have bank accounts, credit cards, etc. PayToo focused on providing these services to people who desperately need them but don’t have access.

PayToo is integrated with PayToo International Bank Inc., making it the only bank-issued Digital Wallet on the market today.

PayToo and PayToo International Bank together, have more than 25 employees working all over the world, with offices in the U.S, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Europe. In 2017, PayToo reached a new milestone when PayToo International Bank Inc. was licensed as an International Financial Entity with the Puerto Rico Commissioner of Financial Institutions, transforming PayToo Wallet from mobile solution to worldwide digital-only bank solution.

PayToo: The Beginning

The company started out with a simple product: a sim card. But very quickly it became clear for PayToo’s team that there are a huge number of people out there who are completely excludedfrom traditional financial services. People who struggle not only to make a phone call to their family in another country, but to complete simple everyday things like pay bills, top-up cell phone, send money to their families, etc.

PayToo identified the need for a product that would be much more: something that could reach across country borders and improve peoples’ lives.

Founded by Michel Poignant and Cedric Mayol, PayToo Group was set up from a simple pre-paid telephone mobile card company, allowing migrant workers to place call back to their home countries at very advantageous rates, and by marrying telecommunications and financial services conceptualized and helped develop the star product of PayToo: The Digital Wallet suite of applications.

The Crown Jewel of PayToo

PayToo Digital Wallet is an electronic account and a substitute to a bank account in which consumers securely store their money and get to spend it, however, and wherever they want, without the need of a bank account or prepaid debit card. The PayToo Wallet has been created with the customers in mind.

Poignant says “customers are the ones making the company grow and motivating and inspiring us to improve our products offering.” The Wallet has been tested in 80 countries worldwide and the company is closely working with 28 first class partners in the world. Since its launch in 2010, PayToo has continuously worked to perfect its technology platform and PayToo Wallet solution, constantly adding services, enhancing security, and improving customer experience.

The Initial Years are Always a Challenge, Says Poignant

As for all companies starting up and trying to get out there, the first years are always challenging. You must be prepared to address a lot of factors you didn’t expect or couldn’t predict and prepare for. “In a way, having the right attitude to face these challenges is the big part of winning the battle for sustainability.” reveals Poignant. The team of PayToo had to master Compliance, BSA, AML, regulations, as well as technical constraints in order to survive, prosper and achieve results.

Poignant remarks that PayToo’s greatest asset is its talented team. “I must say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the great team of people working hard everyday to make PayToo a success. And this includes a group of people who believed in the project and provided financial support to make it come to live,” he adds. The company was fortunate to have a core group of investors who supported PayToo’s continuous innovations and improvements to its product portfolio and continue to do so until this day.

The Roadmap Ahead For PayToo

The company is launching a new biometrics technology-based product: the PayToo SmileandPay© technology. This unique solution for merchants combines biometrics, security, and payments. PayToo SmileandPay© incorporates cutting-edge technology, using facial recognition and QR Code features to verify payment and simplify the shopping experience. This Technology enables the user to confirm his/ her identity by taking a video Selfie to authorize a transaction, therefore dramatically reducing any risk of fraud for both wallet users and retailers.

PayToo envisions itself as the gateway for a new world of services, a global network offering to people a solution to share, connect, and access services in order to improve their quality of life. PayToo aims at becoming the Financial Facebook of the underbanked and unbanked.

The Ingenious Leader

Michel Poignant is founder and CEO of PayToo Group of Companies. Poignant, a veteran in computer technology, began his career in marketing and since then holds extensive experience in the development and successful management of multi-national companies and global corporations. Contributor in the creation of the PayToo digital wallet platform, he became an essential collaborator in the development of a suite of products and services related to telecom, stored value cards, prepaid cards, bill payment processing services and money transfers. Poignant is also known for launching several innovative products such as The Moby-Desk, the First Mobile Desktop and the Photo Bingo, the first Roll Film vending machine.

“We understand the importance of innovation in today’s world and are fully committed to stay ahead of our customers’ expectations and to always provide the most cutting-edge digital solution with the high quality of services, security, and confidentiality.”