#High Five – Mike Draghici from PayByFace

The articles in the #HighFive series have one goal and one goal only – present to you inspiring human beings and the companies they are part of in a quick and casual way. The exact way of the real high-five you do with a friend you meet on the street.

In this article we present to you Mike Draghici, co-founder and CEO of the fintech startup PayByFace, which is providing merchants with a service that combines digital signage with facial biometric-based contactless payments.

Mike is a serial entrepreneur with almost 20 years of experience turning ideas into products and launching startups in several countries including Romania, USA, Canada, Mexico and India. He has founded over 25 companies that range from sole proprietorship in smaller local markets to several limited liability partnerships and corporations doing business around the world.

Now, let’s dive right into the questions.

My superpower is… well in high school my nickname was Flash Gordon! Going fast (with precise accuracy) is probably my main superpower.

One of my productivity hacks is… Notes app on my iPhone and zero inbox policy (email).

If I am not an entrepreneur, I will be… soccer player / coach

For me success is… Having enough time to spend with my family instead of working nonstop to build this startup. It’s a tough choice to make now in order to achieve this success later.

I dream of… Taking my son to go play soccer when he grows up (he’s 1 years old now) and also going on more family vacations when the world becomes a safer place to travel again.


The problem which PayByFace is tackling is… The different payment processes in use today are constantly evolving to improve speed, convenience and security with the latest trends post-COVID going towards contactless, biometric and cashless (virtual card-on-file) systems as the new “norm”.

The UVP (Unique Value Proposition) of our product is… A customer centric, seamless and secure digital payment ecosystem for a safer, faster and more convenient shopping experience. We are helping merchants adapt to the new consumer demands by providing a scalable and secure biometric payment system using face recognition that is platform agnostic and gives the buyer full digital control over their biometric data profile at checkout. We’re calling it “On-Demand Decentralized Biometric Payment Authorization Mechanism” as a service, with a layer of augmented reality gamification embedded into the customer journey to generate loyalty and a unique shopping experience that takes payments beyond the transaction.

The hardest part about building a startup is… Staying focused is probably the hardest part. Keeping the team aligned and focused when we have so much opportunity ahead of us is challenging, but we have set some key milestones which are critical to achieving scalability at a massive level so we try to keep our vision as a guidance whenever we derail or loose focus.

I learned the hard way that… If you can’t make money without money, you probably can’t make money with money. So we are trying to bootstrap as much as possible to obtain more market validation before we raise our pre-seed/seed round.

We believe in our success, because… we have an amazing team! Our core management team is the first people I talk to when I wake up until the late hours before bed, every day. And we are committed and determined to disrupting and innovating the buyer’s checkout experience. We want to be the first company to take payments into space using face recognition as a universally accepted and secure payment authorization method.

Thank you for stopping by in our Visa Innovation Program blog!

If the entrepreneur and the company which we showcased got your interest in any way, you can reach Mike on LinkedIn and learn more about PayByFace on their website.

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