Dynamics Looks To Revolutionize Cobranding With ePlate Launch
Tired of reading about “unique” payments systems that make small tweaks or changes to current infrastructure?
Do we have a company for you.
Introducing Dynamics, a company intent on completely changing the way credit cards engage in cobranding through its new ePlate system.
What makes the ePlate system so different from other payments platforms we’ve seen?
“With Dynamics ePlate, we allow any content brand in the world to create a consumer-facing loyalty program on these credit cards, so that at any time a user can change between brands,” said Jeff Mullen, Dynamics’ chief executive officer and founder.
“This is a revolutionary system, by every meaning of the word.”
Mullen cites the over $40 million in capital Dynamics has raised, as well as numerous awards from the financial technology world, as evidence that others buy into the ePlate as revolutionary too.
As to what exactly ePlate does, Mullen explains that while there are over 500 million credit cards in the U.S. today, and that while around half of them are cobranded, the industry only partners with very specific brands. Mullen stats that because of the cost of cobranded relationships, issuers rarely even reach the break-even point until year three or four of their agreement with a brand, which means they’re only interested in signing brands for six years or longer.
As Mullen points out, that leaves tons of potentially exciting partners out of the cobranding game.
“Lots of interesting brands can’t be the subject of a cobranded card. For example, individuals such as actors, authors, musicians,” he pointed out. “Cobranded programs cannot be temporal or time-sensitive cobrands. You can’t have a cobranded card for this summers hottest movie … or a temporally interesting music artist.
But with ePlate, you can. Some of the branding partners who’ve already signed on include: author Warren Adler, Dark Horse Comics, Big Star Movies, Upper Deck, Fit Orbit and others. Overall, the ePlate will launch with 30 initial brand partners.
In addition to ePlate’s ability to cobrand with unique partners, Mullen says it should also appeal to consumers because of its adaptability. The ability to quickly change the rewards you receive by using the ePlate system give users control not just on a day-to-day basis, but should keep them engaged permanently.
And those benefits are nearly instantaneous, taking, as Mullen put it, one-tenth of a second to be credited to the user’s account.
“As dynamics increases functionality of that platform it improves the depth of the consumer experience and that content. This is a platform that can evolve as users evolve. As users change demographic … as new content becomes interesting to consumers, ePlate is always there for them: ePlate can change with the consumer,” Mullen emphasized.
We asked Mullen what obstacles Dynamics has faced in introducing what is in many ways a completely new technology to the industry, and he offered no shortage of responses.
“It’s required an extreme technology, an extreme manufacturing capability, an extreme processing capability, and as a result Dynamics has built an extreme team to deliver that,” Mullen said.
“Additionally, this is the same user experience on both a phone and a card format. And so Dynamics believes that you need to be able to introduce products in all four areas of payments technologies – Magstripe, EMV, contactless and mobile platform. With ePlate, we can deliver the same experience to consumers regardless of the technology they prefer,” Mullen said.
“Dynamics is the first payments company to truly become technologically agnostic.”
To hear more Mullen on ePlate’s advantages, the mechanisms of cobranding and Dynamics’ plans for the future, listen to the full podcast below.
Founder and CEO, Dynamics Inc.
Jeff Mullen founded and seeded Dynamics in 2007.
Under Mullen, Dynamics sold arguably the largest paid pilots for on-card technology in the history of banking and closed one of the largest Series A investment rounds in 2009 in payments ($5.7MM).
Mullen is an inventor on over 150 pending and issued patents ranging from mainstream consumer electronics for Apple, Inc., to children’s electronic toys for Anderson Press. Mullen is considered one of the most prolific young inventors in the United States and has won many of the world’s most prestigious international business plan competitions, including the Rice Business Plan Competition, Carnegie Mellon McGinnis Venture Competition, and the University of San Francisco Business Plan Competition.
Mullen began his career at the prestigious law firm of Fish & Neave ('01-'07), where he was a patent attorney. Here, Mullen brought in millions of dollars of new business, managed a group of patent agents and attorneys, and prosecuted, licensed, and litigated patents as well as performed a variety of general corporate transactional work. Mullen’s practice covered a wide range of technologies including financial instruments, trading systems, nanotechnology, power systems, deep-sub micron transistor design, telecommunication protocols, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive toys, signal processing, interactive television, mobile devices, and analog circuitry.
Eager to incubate a technology startup, Mullen attended the Don Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. Within a few months of starting his MBA, Mullen incorporated Dynamics and was managing a handful of Dynamics' engineers in an off-campus office. While in Tepper’s MBA program, Mullen grew the company to seven employees and obtained arguably the largest paid-pilots for an on-card technology in the history of banking. A few days before Mullen's commencement, Mullen received his first $MM term sheet from a national venture capitalist.
Mullen received a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon ('01), a JD at New York Law School, Evening Division ('05), and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, where he was a James R. Swartz (co-founder of Accel) Entrepreneurial Fellow. He is a member of the Patent Bar, New York Bar, and Connecticut Bar.
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