Interview with Sheila Kagan, CEO at FinTech Company PayKey

Sheila Kagan at PayKey

PayKey is an innovative fintech company enabling banks and financial institutions to embed financial services within customers’ daily social interactions via their mobile keyboard. Founded in 2014, PayKey has offices in Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Tokyo, and serves over 20 banks globally.

Recognising that financial decisions today take place during conversations within social and messaging apps, PayKey is redefining customers’ mobile banking experience by enabling direct access to services from the mobile keyboard in any app. This prevents customers from needing to switch apps in order to complete a transaction or access a banking function, thus boosting customer engagement and loyalty over time.
FinovateEurope 2019 – PayKey - Finovate

How has the company evolved during COVID-19?

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology in many areas during 2020, and digital banking services have been required to run effectively while coping with a huge increase in demand. As more customers relied on mobile services without being able to visit a bank, technology has enabled customers to engage with financial services in a seamless manner.

The priority was to support our customers – banks – who were facing their own challenges in 2020 in light of the pandemic: from supporting the financial health of their customers and needing to offer enhanced customer service support; to managing the closure of branches overnight and coping with a surge in demand for digital services.

We focused on adding new functionality to our product that would help banks offer the services customers need during this challenging time, all through their mobile keyboard. This included enabling simplified loan requests, real-time news feed, 1-click communication with a banker, and access to customers’ investment portfolios (allowing new day traders and other customers interested in leveraging market volatility by trading easily via the keyboard) among other functions.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Covid-19 has forced people to think differently about how they approach problems and the way they do things. Working remotely is one obvious example, but this attitude of exploring new ways to do things has permeated all parts of our lives. This is obviously important for entrepreneurs and it’s vital we hold on to this mindset following the pandemic.

Be innovative, take risks, and try to use the changes in society to spark a new idea. The most obvious route to market might not be the only approach, or even the most appropriate. For example, rather than always going direct to consumers with a new technology, entrepreneurs could consider a B2B2C route – factoring in the volatility of the year and the challenges consumers have faced in interacting with businesses in the last nine months.

What can we hope to see from PayKey in the future?

As a business, PayKey is constantly striving to deliver new products for banking partners, to embed financial services in the flow of customers’ daily lives and enhance the banking experience.

PayKey will be continuing to develop embedded finance offerings, as well as delivering updates and new features to the keyboard solution. This includes greater customer segmentation, increased data analysis and more personalised financial services, to ensure that banking partners can stay ahead of the needs of their customers.

In addition to this, PayKey will be working to introduce new features that promote customers’ financial wellbeing, by helping banks to further understand their customers in non-financial environments. This year has taught everyone the importance of responsible financial behaviour, and the new features will empower banks to better serve their audience in a post-Covid world.