EXCLUSIVE – There is a lot to be said about keyboard applications and their untapped potential in the payments space. Hoping to bridge that gap is Aditya Haripurkar, who founded HitKey last June, and is currently looking to raise seed funding to scale the app.
Based in city-state Singapore, HitKey provides white label keyboard software applications for financial institutions.
“We believe the keyboard is a platform that allows for multiple consumer banking and productivity applications and payments are one of the most popular applications on the keyboard,” Haripurkar told Bank Innovation. “With smartphone users globally spending an average of 40% of their daily mobile internet usage on chat and social applications, the keyboard as a platform allows for seamless cross-platform interaction and engagement for a financial institution.”
Available on both iOS and Android, HitKey works on all social media and chat networks including WhatsApp and Facebook. The app integrates with an existing mobile banking app in the form of an SDK, and “hence leverages the existing technology and security stack that is used in the main mobile banking application,” Haripurkar explained. “This ensures that all banking transaction and activity data is sandboxed in a closed environment and that all network calls are made on site thus ensuring full security for the end user.”
HitKey is not the only player in the market. Tel Aviv, Israel-based PayKey has made significant progress as a startup in this space. The banking keyboard app closed a $10 million Series B funding round in October bringing its total investment to $16 million since its launch in 2014.
PayKey could not be reached for comment.
Like HitKey, whose current market focus is Asia, PayKey at the time of its raise said that it would focus on expanding in Asian markets in 2018 using the raised funds.
With over half the world’s population, and about 1.9 billion smartphone users in Asia Pacific alone, it’s not hard to see why Asia is such a crucial market for many fintech companies, especially fintechs focused mobile phones.
So far, HitKey has raised $160K in an angel round in October. Haripurkar did not disclose the specific investors. HitKey also has partnerships with various banks across Asia, he said. He declined to disclose names for confidentiality reasons.
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