Hanover, September 2015 — It is already common practice for companies to offer their employees incentives in addition to the normal salary – no matter if it’s in the form of meal passes, restaurant vouchers, subsidised travel or parking vouchers. The finTech startup PEY combines this salary payout model with Bitcoin technology and offers companies and employees an innovative alternative to a tax-exempt payout, which can be used for many individual purposes. For this reason, PEY has just raised fresh capital in a recent seed financing round.
After developing a smartphone-based payment system and user-friendly app, the German startup PEY is now offering an easier way to pay with bitcoins, a digital currency that is independent of banks, governments and geographical boundaries. "Bitcoin technology is on the rise. However, the currency has been hard to get and it’s usually tied to complex Bitcoin exchanges. With PEY we want to make it equally simple for brick-and-mortar stores and consumers to have access to and to take advantage of this new technology" says PEY-founder Ricardo Ferrer Rivero while describing the motivation behind PEY’s team. After the first successful projects helping brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants and cafés accept bitcoin as payment, Ferrer Rivero now wants to target consumers.
Tax-free use of bitcoins as part of the payroll
In order to establish bitcoins as a common means of payment, PEY will be offering companies, starting in Autumn 2015, a way to pay employees a portion of their salary tax-free in the first free, digital and decentralized currency. In Germany, bitcoins are exempt from tax up to a monetary value of 44 euros (about $ 49 US) a month, as they - just like meal passes and restaurant vouchers - are a non-cash benefit.
For this reason, PEY’s solution is equally attractive to employers and employees. Employees are free to choose for what purpose they want to use their non-cash benefit; while employers can use bitcoins as an incentive quickly and easily, because PEY takes away any burden by working closely with tax consultants and authorities to reduce any alleged complexity associated with the Bitcoin market. For the beta phase of the payroll product, PEY has registered forty companies in the Hanover region; Starting in Autumn 2015, the product will be rolled-out in Germany (http://pey.de/gehalt/).
€ 300,000 investment for Bitcoin Innovation Project
Thanks to its innovative potential, PEY has recently managed to attract reputable investors through a just concluded seed financing round. They have shown support for the Hanoverian startup with an investment of €300,000: "PEY combines two of the fastest growing areas within the FinTech industry: Bitcoin technology and mobile payment systems. This complemented by a startup and exit experienced founding team made for highly interesting investment, " says investor Marc Junker (among others co-founder of mobileview AG and Investor of Smaato Inc).
Other investors include Frank Biedka (formerly Managing Director of Rocket Internet GmbH and Zalando, an investor in doctape, groupon, eDarling and MyVideo), Hartmut A. Borchers (founder / owner multi-media management GmbH - digital marketing for banks, Management Board 533 AG, Managing Director in PEY GmbH), Jürgen Pleteit (CEO of Die Werke GmbH & Co KG), Olav Vier genannt Strawe (co-founder of 4Com GmbH & Co KG) and Tobias Jankowiak (founder / owner Solar Ranch).
Hanoverian Bitcoin Boulevard competes with London and Madrid
In October 2014, PEY was able to convince fifty dealers in Hannover of the simplicity and cost effectiveness of payments with bitcoins and managed to create the longest Bitcoin Boulevard worldwide at 2.5km (Source: coinmap.org). By year's end the number of dealers is forecasted to double bringing Hannover even higher in the ranking of Bitcoin cities. The German city is already ranked beside London and Madrid in the top 5 Bitcoin cities in Europe.
The Hanoverian Startup PEY (founded October 2014) has developed a smartphone-based payment system, which uses the global Bitcoin network, and is aimed at both consumers and merchants. With self-developed and custom-built hardware terminals, PEY provides the basis for merchants to accept bitcoins easily; and the mobile app serves consumers as the basis for quick transactions. The startup places great emphasis on security and ease of use in mobile payments and uses the latest technologies, such as iBeacon, Bluetooth LE, Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR codes. In addition to this, the startup is also working with numerous partners such as BitPay, Yallet, Lamassu and Estimote. PEY’s core team is formed by Ricardo Ferrer Rivero (Managing Director, see picture), Marius Beyer (Production, Support) and Collin Raddatz (CTO, software and hardware development). PEY is headquartered in the heart of Hanover at the Edelstall coworking space.
Bitcoin is the first free, digital and decentralized currency and forms the basis for PEY. Bitcoin is not subject to geographical boundaries and is also independent of (central) banks and governments. To perform Bitcoin transactions safely and within a few seconds, only a smartphone or computer with an Internet connection is required.