CELLUM: A SAFER WAY TO PAY

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In recent years, mobile payments have entered the mainstream and are changing the way customers interact with retail brands and ecommerce businesses. However, while in the most developed countries consumers can choose from a multitude of payment methods, billions of people in less developed countries are sill excluded from modern financial technology. In addition, the m-payments industry continues to focus on convenience to the detriment of security, oten leaving their services open to vulnerabilities. One company that saw the need to increase the security in mobile payments is Cellum, a leading multinational mobile wallet provider based in Europe.

The journey of Cellum started in 2000, before the mobile payments revolution. Cellum’s predecessor developed mobile security and cryptographic solutions, working closely with the market-leading mobile carriers in Hungary. It was through this experience that the company realized the disruptive potential in the mobile payments space. Cellum CEO János Kóka shares, “We spent more than a decade in shaping the security protocols and encryption methods before embarking on delivering mobile wallets with banking-grade security to MasterCard, leading banks and telecom companies in Hungary.” Having proved its mettle in the competitive Hungarian market, Cellum has started bringing its cutting-edge products to Asia, with a special focus to Indonesia.

Evolution of mobile payments since the formation of Cellum

Cellum is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary and is a leading multinational mobile wallet provider. The company was founded by Balázs Inotay in 2000, which was joined by János Kóka in 2011 as CEO of the then newly established Cellum Global Inc. affiliate, which marked the beginning of the group’s international expansion.

Most fintech companies are focused on disrupting the market by challenging incumbents. Cellum looks at the market differently, and builds future-proof products and services that enable incumbents to keep with times. The company primarily provides mobile wallet technology in a white-label model to financial institutions, mobile network operators and large enterprises. Security is an integral part of Cellum’s technology, with features like end-to-end encryption, advanced customer registration, two-factor authentication and tokenization to ensure secure and seamless transactions.

Considering the importance of security and data protection, Cellum takes a number of specific measures to secure its payments infrastructure. Cellum has come up with a groundbreaking technology that foregoes the use of centralized databases to store payment credentials. This patented proprietary vault, called “Split Secret”, means whenever a user registers a card on the phone, it is encrypted and split into two pieces. One part of the cryptogram will be stored on the handset, and the other in Cellum’s private cloud, running in a PCI-DSS audited server environment.

With the necessary infrastructure in place and a competitive team, the company tries to find effective and immediate solutions to solve real-world customer needs.

Cellum understands that on the long run, mobile wallets need to be capable of more than just payments. “We believe that mobile will take over the role of all other payment instruments currently out there, by making payments faster, cheaper and more secure. Eventually, it will replace the physical wallet entirely– this is why Cellum’s team is currently working on mobile ID solutions,” says Kóka.

The Future of Cellum

Cellum has set out to earn the trust of people and communities in the unbanked and under-banked areas of Southeast Asia. After doing so well in Central Eastern Europe, the company is taking a big step forward to increase the adoption of mobile payments technologies in Indonesia. Cellum is certified PCI DSS 3.2 Level 1 compliant, which shows the company’s commitment to meet the highest standards of quality in the industry. Because of its strict security policy, Cellum is consistently recognized for maintaining a zero percent fraud rate over the past 18 years.

Going forward, Cellum has been focusing on product development in the past couple of years, an effort which has finally come to fruition. The company has won over some key clients and has grown to approximately USD 3 million in revenues. Also, earlier this year, Telkom Indonesia became an investor in Cellum to finance the company’s growth in Asia.

After achieving huge success, Cellum has decided not to stop here. It has a long way to cover. The company aims to become the leading player in Indonesia by 2020 and to dominate the mobile payments sector in Japan by 2022. Cellum is planning an IPO by 2025 to secure the necessary funding to increase its footprint in Asia and beyond.

“Cellum’s objective is to bring innovation to the world of mobile technology in order to make the lives of people more convenient and secure. Its ultimate goal is to create a hassle-free mobile wallet,” concludes Kóka.

QUOTES:

“We believe that mobile will take over the role of all other payment instruments currently out there, by making payments faster, cheaper and more secure”

“Cellum spent more than a decade in shaping the security protocols and encryption methods before embarking on delivering mobile wallets with banking-grade security to MasterCard, leading banks and telecom companies in Hungary”

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