Update from the CEO
Hello Pagaré Backers,
My name is Mike Orlando. I’m the co-founder and CEO of FitPay, the creator of the Pagaré smartstrap for the Pebble Time family of smartwatches. In addition to developing Pagaré, FitPay is building and operating a payment platform for any wearable device. We are working with a number of devices manufacturers to enable their products to transact payments, just like Pagaré. Our vision for Pagaré is for it to be the first device to use the FitPay payment platform and the first of a whole new ecosystem of payment-enabled wearables. It is critical part our overall strategy that we cannot and will not fail to make a reality.
With that, I wanted to reach out to you directly to give you a review of our project and an update of the status of delivery.
First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that the communications to our Backer community have not been good and have fallen short of your expectations. Please understand this isn’t due to a lack of commitment to the project or a lack of desire to keep you informed of our progress. We are largely an engineering team and this is our first crowd-funded project. Frankly, we underestimated the demands of managing a Kickstarter campaign after all the fun of watching the pledges roll-in ended. The passion and enthusiasm of our Backers have been incredible, but effectively communicating with the community is new ground for us. We will continue to navigate through it as best we can. My commitment to you is that we will get better and keep you up-to-date more frequently.
It is important to understand that what we are doing is a HUGE undertaking. As many Backers have pointed out, we are not just creating a smartstrap – which alone is a massive project – we are enabling an entire ecosystem to support it. That includes collaboration from the card networks, their issuing banks, the standards bodies that rule how security is managed, and manufacturers of the security elements needed to operate safely in a retail environment.
Our team has decades of payment industry experience, so we have the relationships and technological capabilities necessary to make it all come together. That said, we are creating a new paradigm for the entire payment industry by opening payments to a whole new generation of devices and completely changing the consumer payment experience. It is a complicated endeavor that takes time. As Pagaré Backers, you will be the forefront of this change and we need your help and support to make it a reality.
Now, where are we with Pagaré? We kicked off our campaign in February not knowing if we would be successful at achieving our funding goal. Once we did, we put our energy behind delivering. As we described in prior updates, we have had some design challenges along the way. The good news is that the final prototypes are here! The design issues are solved and not only do the prototypes look great, but also are able to complete a successful point of sale (POS) transaction. Here’s a first look:
More good news: the pre-ordered Pebbles are shipping! For those of you that ordered a new Pebble along with your Pagaré smartstrap and responded to the survey you wanted a pre-shipment of your smartwatch, it is on the way. We expect U.S. deliveries to start arriving within 7 -10 days. International shipments will take a bit a longer.
Now, the hard part. We have talked about design challenges that we have had in other updates. Another challenge we are working through is that security requirements of the credit card industry have changed since we completed our campaign. As I stated earlier, what we are doing is new ground. Ensuring that the payment credentials on Pagaré, or any similar device, are secure is paramount.
We had this solved in our electrical and mechanical design of the first prototypes, but when the rules changed, we had to adjust. We’ve made great progress and have the full support of everyone involved, but these changes and the other design modifications have cost us valuable time. We have certification schedules established with the major card networks, but it will cause a delay to our Pagaré functionality being accessible at retail locations. This was a risk outlined in our campaign and one we did everything possible to avoid.
So, the burning question: what is our new delivery timeline? Based on our current manufacturing timeline and, more importantly, the certification schedule from the card networks, Pagaré will be ready to ship by January 2017.
We recognize that this is much later than our original timeline and we sincerely apologize for that. The complexity and unexpected challenges of this project have caused our schedule to extend much longer than anticipated. The new delivery date is based on conservative timelines that we are working hard with all our partners to shorten. We will make every effort to ship Pagaré to you sooner, if possible, but we don’t want to deliver Pagaré to you until it’s fully ready to use in a retail environment.
As I shared above, Pagaré is a key initiative for FitPay that will prove the model for our entire payment platform. It is a project that we will complete despite the many challenges we have encountered. Our backers are a critical part of our team and we are grateful that you have chosen to join us on the journey. We are changing the way consumers pay, and you are making that change with us.
On behalf of my entire team at FitPay, I want to thank you for making Pagaré possible. We remain committed to bringing you a quality product that you’ll LOVE.