Mezu’s proprietary encryption technology lets you pay anyone, anywhere for anything—without giving up your privacy. The CEO Yuval Brisker, will be sharing more details with us in this interview.
Please tell us your name and about yourself?
My name is Yuval Brisker, and I am the Co-Founder, CEO and President of Mezu, Inc. I co-founded Mezu with Pedro Silva, our COO, in early 2017 to address significant gaps in the global mobile payments world.
I am an architect, technologist, business leader, serial entrepreneur and leading advocate of consumer freedom enabled by technology.
Prior to founding Mezu, I was the co-founder and CEO of TOA Technologies, the global leader in cloud-based field service and customer service experience management. TOA was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2014.
What is Mezu?
Mezu is the first global payment app that puts customers privacy ahead of profit for data.
Mezu is disrupting the global payments space by offering its customers privacy, choice, and portability, across its product suite. The Mezu app works like virtual cash and enables users to pay anyone, anywhere for anything, without having to share their personal information with other customers. Mezu is available in the U.S. in the App Store and Google Play.
What makes it different from other payment apps and why is it the best choice?
Mezu is the “under-sharing” payment app for customers who value their privacy. Unlike the P2P payment apps out there, our customers do not have to share any personal information with people they are paying – they essentially pay anonymously. Our commitment to protecting our customers’ privacy, their transaction data and the confidentiality of their payments, is absolute. We will never sell or trade our customers’ personal payment or spending information.
With Mezu, you can safely pay someone you don’t know, without sharing personal contact information – for example, the guy who’s selling you that couch you found on Craigslist, tipping your bartender, or settling up with a vendor at a street fair. Similarly, you can use Mezu to get paid by a person you don’t know. In order to get paid by a person you don’t know, the person paying and the person getting paid (you!) must be within close proximity to each other. To keep things simple, Mezu creates 4-digit codes based on a small location radius – just make sure you are in close proximity to the other person.
Unlike other P2P payment apps available to consumers, Mezu was also built with international use in mind. Starting in the beginning of 2020 we will be launching Mezu in additional international markets – this global reach is always what we had in mind when we created Mezu.
What is the market size and demand for a payment app like Mezu, and who is your average user?
The global payments market is a trillion dollar industry, while the mobile payments market in the US alone is projected to quadruple in size by 2024 to approx. $3.7 trillion.
Mezu has users of all ages and walks of life all across the whole United States. We find our customers skew towards females between the ages of 18 and 34 who are concerned about their personal safety and privacy.
Mezu offers features where you can pay and get paid at the same time – tell us more about these features and how they work? Why did you choose to offer these choices to your customers?
The great thing about Mezu is the level of choice we’ve created for our customers.
Not only can you use Mezu to pay and/or get paid anonymously by someone you don’t know by using a one-time code or MezuBox – you can transfer money with someone you know via your contacts (email address or phone number).
After you install Mezu and set up your account, you can Pay or Get paid:
- From people you don’t know with a one-time code, in any country in which Mezu operates, without sharing your name or any other personal information with the other person.
- Using a MezuBox – a Mezu invention- that’s like a post office box for your money – and you can pay, tip, or donate to a service provider, friend, or group of friends using a single tap – again, without disclosing any of your personal information or knowing the personal information of the person who you’re paying.
- Pay or Get Paid to a contact using a phone number or email address in your phone’s contact list. If your contact doesn’t have Mezu yet, you can extend an invite for them to download Mezu. You can also send money anonymously – use this option carefully, because the recipient won’t know who sent them money!
What is a MezuBox, how does it work and why should we pay by the secure MezuBox?
A MezuBox is like a virtual post-office box for your money.
It is a fixed location-based 4 digit code,that allows you to Get Paid even when you don’t have your mobile device with you. People who have the Mezu app can see in a radius of 25 miles from the location of a MezuBox. They can send money anonymously to the MezuBox, using it to collect funds for charity, for a group activity, to have people pay you on Craigslist without needing to share your contact info or as a tip box. For those concerned about privacy, the MezuBox can be ‘located’ anywhere (not just where you are physically located).
MezuBoxes are also very useful for people who work in service industries and get tips on a regular basis – like bartenders, hotel bellhops, and valets. If a MezuBox number is displayed on signage, a name tag or lapel pin, customers and guests will know they can seamlessly and securely tip without cash.
Each user can have up to five different MezuBoxes at once. For example, you can create and display a MezuBox at your flea market vendor booth, your weekend barista shift, your home, or other locations that work for you.
Could you tell us more about the MezuCard, your smarter digital debit card?
The MezuCard, in partnership with MasterCard, is Mezu’s digital debit card. It is the first digital debit card that can be instantly activated via the Mezu app without the need to wait for delivery via mail like many other payment app debit cards. The Mezu card is available for use the minute you activate it in the app, and is fully integrated with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung pay, to give our users even more options for making private purchases, anywhere.
The MezuCard means our customers can make purchases anywhere in the world that Mastercard is accepted. This unique benefit gives Mezu users ease of use, and the peace of mind of being able to use their favorite apps, like Uber, Lime, Airbnb, hotels + airline bookings, Starbucks etc., anywhere around the globe.
The MezuCard digital debit card is protected by the app’s biometric technology for an additional level of user privacy and security. With the MezuCard, customers can safely make purchases knowing their transaction data is not being shared with anyone as both Mezu and Mastercard will not share personally identifiable data and transaction histories with third parties.
Could you tell us about your team and customer support?
Mezu has a great team of highly specialized world class professional employees in every department.
Yuval Brisker, Mezu’s Co-Founder, CEO and President, has been a lifelong technologist and a leading advocate of consumer freedom enabled by technology. He co-founded TOA Technologies (with Irad Carmi) and led the company as CEO and Chairman from its founding through 11 years of outstanding and continuous growth in more than 20 countries on six different continents. TOA was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2014 and Yuval stayed on to lead the integration before leaving to co-found Mezu.
Pedro Silva, Mezu’s Co-Founder, COO and President, is the architect of Mezu’s software and leads technology and operations. Previously, Pedro led TOA Technologies’ expansion into Latin America. Under his leadership, TOA went from 0% to 40% of TOA’s recurring revenue during the course of 3 years. Pedro’s career has encompassed all aspects of software and technology, including development, sales, implementation and customer service.
One of Mezu’s core values is to provide a world-class customer experience, which includes providing top notch customer support via the Customer Care team.
How Safe is Mezu’s Triple encryption, for privacy-first payments, any legal and security guarantees?
Mezu’s triple encryption ensures security on the (1) device-level (a hacked or compromised phone can’t be exploited in Mezu), (2) on the communication channel guaranteeing end-to-end encryption and eliminating man-in-the-middle attacks (in public WiFi for example) and (3) customer record-level encryption (each customer’s data encrypted with a unique key) ensuring that, even in the remote possibility that Mezu’s infrastructure was compromised, the customer data would be unusable.
What do you foresee for the future of Mezu?
Mezu aims to be a global provider of mobile payment solutions. We are expanding internationally in 2020 and are excited to announce specifics next year.
For more information, visit the Mezu website: https://www.mezu.com/