PayTango


Payments at your fingertips
PayTango is a fingerprint-based payments system, which would replace standard credit card terminals at retail stores. This enables incredibly fast, secure, and convenient payments for everyone. You don’t need a smartphone. You don’t need your wallet. All you need is your finger.


Sketch of interaction flow


Screen flow for a user who is enrolled in PayTango

When a customer is ready to pay for her purchase, the PayTango terminal allows her to either swipe her card or use her finger to pay. If she is enrolled in PayTango, the system will recognize her fingerprint pull up all of her cards associated with that fingerprint in the system. Any card with a magnetic stripe can be registered in PayTango, including credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards. Once she selects her payment instrument and confirms, the transaction is made.


Screen flow for a first-time user

If the system does not recognize a customer’s fingerprint, this could either mean her fingerprint was not read properly, in which case she should touch the reader again, or she is not enrolled. To enroll, she taps the enroll button and is prompted to swipe her card. PayTango now associates her fingerprint with that card, so the next time she tries to pay with her finger, PayTango will already have her card ready to use.

From hack to startup
I built PayTango with Christian Reyes and Umang Patel at PennApps 2012 hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, the world’s largest student-run hackathon with nearly 100 teams and 320 hackers in attendance. We came to the competition armed with a magnetic stripe reader, a fingerprint reader, and an idea. The video above is a demo of what we hacked in under 48 hours. We were awarded the Top Non-Penn Team, People’s Choice Award, and Best Use of MongoDB. The three of us along with an industrial designer, Kelly Lau-Kee, are continuing our work on PayTango in CMU’s Tech Startup Lab taught by Luis von Ahn.
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