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Tysons Startup Putting Payment and Membership At Your Fingertip

by Vernon Miles October 4, 2018 at 10:30 am 0

No wallet? No problem.

With Yombu, everything from financial transactions to gym access is at your fingertip. Now, this Tysons company is starting to branch out across the country.

Yombu is a tech startup based out of MakeOffices in Tysons. The company lets customers of a business confirm their identity for something like purchasing an item or signing into a membership with only a fingerprint scan.

“We want to be the way people pay and the way people engage so you don’t need anything other than you,” said Joe Falit, one of the two co-founders of Yombu.

Yombu started in Northern Virginia, but has since expanded into D.C. and Maryland. Falit said the company is focused on gradually building into more cities and building locally-centered networks.

Yombu’s new deal with gym software company Motionsoft means that the company is about to receive a major boost in users as it spreads to 26 gyms across the country.

Yombu started one year ago with zero users. Today, they are at 15,000, which is 5,000 more than their initial goal for 2018.

The company expands its user-base through two types of markets.

The first is through merchants or “quick-serve” transactions, like coffee shops or dry cleaners. In a location like this, a customer can authenticate their fingerprint once as they pay with a card, and the card will be linked with that print. Things like rewards traditionally tracked through punch cards can also be tracked through Yombu.

Getting merchants on board can be difficult. Falit said many they talk to initially say that credits cards work fast enough. But once shown how much faster lines can move and how much more consistent the rewards programs can be with a fingerprint scan, they usually sign up.

The second type of market is membership. Yombu is used to sign in or out of a membership area, like a gym, and while Falit said the company started with mostly quick-serve transactions, they’re finding membership to be the much more lucrative use of the technology.

“If you’re a gym and you now use Yombu to have membership through finger, you’re basically making everyone sign up,” said Falit. “We see these memberships as hubs. At coffee shops, we might get 20 percent of people there to sign up. But at the gym, we get 100 percent of people to sign up.”

As Yombu prepares to launch in Philadelphia soon and in gyms across the country, back at home in Tysons the program is starting to become more and more commonplace.

Yombu is currently being used in 56 locations throughout the D.C. area — 30 merchant locations and 26 gyms. On one rainy day along a few weeks ago, Falit watched as 325 new users signed up for the program as they flocked into coffee shops throughout the region, all of them paying for their coffee with a single touch.

Photo via Yombu

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