Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight: PayPerks

PayPerks is an educational rewards platform for the financially underserved and part of the Rackspace Startup Program.  Their patent-pending rewards model fuses online education with sweepstakes-based incentives in order to fuel positive behavior changes among the lower and middle income segment.  Users can earn PayPerks points through a variety of actions such as taking PayPerks’ graphical, story-based educational curriculum, adopting prepaid debit cards to eliminate their check cashing fees or accumulating a rainy day fund in a prepaid account.

The idea for PayPerks was conceived by PayPerks’ CEO, Arlyn Davich, while she was studying at Columbia Business School and was incubated in the school’s Greenhouse program.  PayPerks received its first seed money from Columbia’s Lang Fund for Entrepreneurship. The original concept for PayPerks was a rewards program as an incentive for working Americans to enroll in direct deposit.  In working through the business plan for that concept, it became clear that there was an insurmountable barrier to almost a third of working Americans getting direct deposit: they didn’t have a bank account. The idea iterated from there.


“We are driven to create large scale sustainable social impact.  Most of our users stand to save about a week’s worth of salary over the course of a year – just through a few simple behavior changes.  For some, that means a small rainy day fund for emergencies; for others, it means the difference between having food on the table or gas in the tank.  With a quarter of Americans and half the world living outside the financial mainstream, we are driven by the opportunity to make good on our mission to ensure that under banked need not mean underserved,” explains Jake Peters, PayPerks Co-Founder & CTO.

“From a product and technology perspective, our passion comes from the challenge of building a robust and secure platform that will scale to millions of users and their hundreds of millions of transactions, and how we can design our product interfaces to be engaging and consistent across yet optimized for WebKit browsers, non-WebKit browsers, mobile browsers, and native mobile apps.  We pride ourselves on the flexibility of our platform, including our Rackspace Cloud Servers, to enable us to be flexible and adapt our platform to new opportunities,” Peters continues with, “We’re partnering with more prepaid debit card issuers to deploy PayPerks onto more cards and partnering with social impact organizations to provide financial education to their constituents.”

Driven to create large scale sustainable social impact to fuel positive behavior changes among the lower and middle income segment is what PayPerks is all about. What a wonderful concept.

The Rackspace Startup Program strives to create a sustainable social impact within the startup community. If you’re entrepreneurial venture needs a kick start, contact the Space Cowboys regarding a Rackspace Cloud Computing platform to build your business upon.

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John McKenna loves startups and is a Space Cowboy with the Rackspace Startup Program. He also crafts customer stories and produces really cool videos for the Customer Reference Program. John enjoys telling stories through his writings…and loves the beach, the ranch, his dog Blue and most of all his three beautiful daughters.


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