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Are you among those who frequently lose their debit/credit cards and keep forgetting your security numbers? Four people from Carnegie Mellon University -Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee, Umang Patel, and Christian Reyes come forward to help you with their innovation called “Paytango”.

With Paytango, you could go around without carrying anything and still make payments, and you can bid good bye to all those worries of carrying cards and remembering passwords. Isn’t that cool?


This group of four members, graduating later this summer, came up with this idea of using fingerprints and biometrics identification, which turns out to be the promising method of making payments in the future. After developing the idea and building the prototype in a series of hackathons, the students were accepted into Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, which provided them with seed funding.

“We wanted to solve the problem of all these cards you have to carry around and things you need to identify yourself–there had to be a better way,” says Patel. “We realized biometrics might be the best way to solve the problem of keys and credit cards.”

Paytango’s impact has already been felt in Carnegie Mellon and students find it very easy to use and make payments. The device was placed in several of the dining halls in the campus where the traditional swipe cards mechanism of making payments were deployed. In Due course, these services are to be rolled out to the nearby campuses and other places like Gyms where such typical check ins are deployed. “The idea that you are not carrying around something that gives you access to your money–it’s something that you have, something that you are. You can roll out of bed, forget your wallet, and still be able to make a transaction,” says Max Hawkins, a fellow Carnegie Mellon senior who works with other student-run start-ups at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU.


Paytango offers an easy sign up process. All you have to do is go to the counter and follow the below three steps:

  1. Tough the finger pad with your index and middle finger
  2. Swipe the card which you want to associate with your biometrics
  3. Enter your mobile number to complete your account

All these benefits are coupled with incredibly fast transactions as well. Paytango claims a transaction period of less than six seconds.

“The thing that we do differently is easy enrollment,” says Patel. “You don’t need specific technology and you don’t have to carry anything around with you. It’s just a more seamless approach.” This completely justifies their tag line for Paytango –“Everywhere you are”.


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