The Yorker Interviews: Yoyo Chang

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KodyPay is a mobile point-of-sale app which allows users to pay for their shopping remotely, and skip the queuing. At 20 years of age Yoyo Chang (CEO, co-founder, and University of York student) raised £1.8 million worth of seed round funding for the fintech start-up. I put eight questions to Chang, to find out more.

1.      How do you remain driven towards your goals and motivate yourself in a time of uncertainty and international crisis?

Currently, what keeps me focussed is knowing that we can make a real difference to improve the life experience of all people. The excitement of creating something that is yet to happen is compelling, and this is what drives me.

2.      Where do you see both yourself and the future of KodyPay in five years’ time?

I hope that in 5 years’ time, KodyPay will have completely pierced the financial sphere. KodyPay will go on to revolutionize the payments industry by allowing all payments to be made on a mobile phone, by anyone, anywhere. KodyPay will lead the way to reduce the environmental impact of retail. So, I expect to see a mass reduction of hardware, such as tills in stores, as well as minimal paper receipts.

3.      What efforts have been put in place to make KodyPay secure from hackers?

KodyPay is super secure. The app is supported by Visa CyberSource, who handle all payments, and IBM protects all data that KodyPay holds. Therefore, the customer can be relieved and rest-assured that all their data and finances are as protected as possible from hackers.

4.      Do you not fear that moving to an exclusively digitised payment system, physical cash will eventually cease to exist, and the value of money will become an abstract concept?

Millions of people use online banking and pay by contactless on their card, and have been for years. I am not worried about the exclusively digital payment system because the world is heading towards it already. We have developed strong technology, which I have every confidence in.

5.      What has been your biggest challenge or setback?

Of course, like most people, the coronavirus outbreak has been a major setback. We have been unable to trial KodyPay in stores as quickly as we would have liked to, due to the closure of shops. However, when saying that, the slowing down of society has presented the urgent need for KodyPay during this crisis. We are rapidly working on the product to encourage people to return to normality post-covid, safely. KodyPay enables complete contact free payments, meaning consumers and merchants can, with confidence, protect each other.

6.      If you could speak to your eighteen-year-old self, what would you tell him?

When I was 18, I didn’t really know what I was getting into: I just went for it. So, I would tell my younger self to just keep going and not to worry as much. When you’re young, the bumps aren’t mistakes – they’re learning experiences. It was ok for me to be naive and not wholly understand what was happening around me. But I would encourage myself to continue to trust in the process and keep moving forwards confidently. I would say to never give up on my passions because who knows how much further this project will grow even now.

7.      Is it a concern that an older generation of consumers are being overlooked through the move towards mobile and online payments? Particularly as many older people do not have access to the latest technology or fear the security of online payments.

Of course, that is a concern for many digital services. However, KodyPay has certainly not overlooked the older generation. The KodyPay app is straightforward and easy to use: making it accessible for all generations. KodyPay is customer orientated. We focus on the needs of the public. KodyPay is a service. Therefore, if any customer is dissatisfied, it is within our interest to listen to their feedback. Although so far, there have been no complaints.

8.      What would be your best piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I would advise any aspiring entrepreneur to surround themselves with people who will nurture and cultivate them and their journey. It is not easy, and you will need a lot of motivation. There are critical highs and lows, so resilience is key to success.

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Marti Stelling

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