The future is now. Billfold is the future. These two statements are simple, short, direct and gives a new in-depth meaning on how their technology will shape the future of spending, purchasing and transactions. Billfold was created to facilitate fast and seamless payment transactions. With the wave of your hand, your items will be paid for, money deducted from your account and you’ll be on your way in mere seconds. This has become the new norm in spending and Billfold is one of the revolutionary technology companies that is taking advantage of this new phenomenon. We sat down with Benjamin Roshia and Stanislav (“Stas”) Chijik to discuss Billfold in length.
AF: What is Billfold and how will it revolutionize payment transactions?
Billfold: Billfold is a payments company that is disrupting the live events industry. We use RFID technology, which is what hotels use in their door knobs and key cards to open your room. In this case, we use wristbands with secure chips embedded that connect to your credit or debit card, and become your payment. To order a drink, you’d simply scan your wristband at one of our points of sale (POS). This changes the way people view transactions, it changes people’s spending behavior which leads to more spending.
AF: What role does RFID play in the success of Billfold?
Billfold: RFID stands for radio-frequency identification and it plays a massive role in fintech. A secure connection is made between the customers bank card and our POS terminals. However, no information is stored on the wristbands, if a band is picked out of the trash, there is nothing you could get or steal from it. We have standard feature where guests must create a four digit pin to make payments, similar to a debit card. Having everyone at a venue with a payment on their wrists really enables fast moving lines, no one holds the line looking for their wallets or phone. It maximizes the speed of transactions by 3x. We’ve seen our clients double, even triple their bar sales the first time they used Billfold.
AF: What was the inspiration in creating the company?
Billfold: We created this for our own venue, Avant Gardner, where we oversaw the food and beverage operations. We realized that in order to improve transaction times we would need to create a POS system that utilizes RFID technology in order to speed up sales. Furthermore, after years of catering to events and festivals and having limited bar spaces, we knew this was the only option to optimize sales revenue. We spent a large part of 2016 designing and rolling out Billfold with the help of our other business partner and our incredible development team. After our first year of implementing Billfold we saw a 45.2% increase in the per person spends at the similar events we catered in the past before Billfold existed. That was such a substantial increase in sales revenue we realized very fast that we needed to create a rental model and get the system into other venues and festivals.
AF: What niche is the brand looking to target?
Billfold: We’re focused on mid-sized festivals venues, fairs, and hotels/resorts, our humble pricing also draws these clients in. In the near future we will be approaching cruise lines, stadiums, theme parks, water parks, spas, and any other businesses we know Billfold will be an excellent fit.
AF: In a fast changing technology market, how will Billfold be able to differentiate itself from the competition?
Billfold: That is a great question and something the tech industry has to address all the time. At Billfold we are always working to improve and create a more robust POS solution for events, not just on the sales side but also the marketing and operations side. There are many things that give us an advantage in the market. 1. We have customer facing screens which allows us to sell ads or take sponsorships to the next level. Our data proves that by placing ads at the point of transaction, you influence people to purchase that product. 2. We run on an open loop system which only requires one step; customers link their bank card to their wristband allowing them to spend limitlessly. Most of our competitors use top-up systems which forces users to engage in unnecessary steps; add credit, spend credit, repeat. This process irritates customers, and results in them spending less. 3. Billfold cuts labor costs by providing self-service activation kiosks which doesn’t require assistance of event personnel, something our competitors lack.
AF: You have worked with MoMa, BPM, Anheuser Busch, Adidas: The Do Over, Boiler Room, Avant Gardner/ Brooklyn Mirage, Art With Me Tulum, ModelLand, Elrow, Matte Projects, and Mayan Warrior to name a few. What takeaways did you get from interacting with them?
Billfold: Many of these clients have required different levels of customization causing us to restructure our own roadmap. This has been challenging but also very beneficial because we’ve executed new features that our other clients found valuable. At times we’ve turned down some exciting new leads, although it’s tough to say no to but in the long run made a lot of sense for us. It’s important as a company to have a clear vision of where you want to go and to stay true to your values.
AF: What is next for Billfold?
Billfold: Launching right before the New Year Billfold is introducing Apple, Samsung, Google pay for customers. This will allow event attendees to make these forms of payment battery-less, meaning that even when their phone dies they will be able to charge their cards on file using their wristband.
In the new year Billfold will be rolling out it’s wallet solution. With the wallet they will be able to connect their cards on file to their wristband by simply tapping their phone on the band. This will be a hub where event goers will be able to receive rewards for their spending across events wherever Billfold is used. Also through this platform we will begin introducing special offers from event organizers for pre-sell tickets.
In late 2020 Billfold will be rolling out its stadium solution, which will help revolutionize the way people spend at sporting events, but at the moment we are unable to go into much detail.