Pittsburgh-based Dynamics Inc., the mega-award-winning CMU startup founded by Jeff Mullen, unveiled its first credit card this week, a battery-operated system that promises to change the way consumers, banks and vendors use thin plastic.
Called the Dynamic ePlate Visa, the card can multi-task like no other, offering consumers applications that award loyalty points for dozens of perks, everything from travel to games, restaurant meals, groceries and charity donations.
The ePlate provides a revolutionary level of service as a credit card, explains Mullen, Dynamics CEO. Until now, banks have been unable to partner with certain companies and brands—such as seasonal products or artists—on loyalty awards. With ePlate, the consumer can select rewards, at the point-of-purchase, simply by flicking a lighted switch.
The card initially comes with 35 apps for travel, games, entertainment and retail, but many, many more will follow, says Mullen. The system awards points almost instantaneously.
“You can eat dinner and, by the time you get home, you could be watching that movie through that reward,” says Mullen. “That’s the power of the ePlay system.”
With each purchase, the reward data feeds into Dynamics’ data center ln Cheswick. Dynamics' has a nine-acre, 125,000 square-foot office, in a former torpedo factory and Westinghouse site.
“We are going to run out of room fast,” Mullen says.
The company currently employs 71 full-time and 20 part-time employees and plans continued hiring as applications are rolled out. The company is hiring extreme engineers, software developers, administrators, skilled labors and operators.
“ePlate’s integration into the payment systems is so fast the apps will be implemented before you can even put your card back in your wallet,” says Mullen.
The company has raised $40 million in venture funding to date, from Bain Capital Ventures in Boston and Adams Capital Management in Sewickley.
The story of Dynamics began back in 2007 when Mullen was attending the Tepper School of Business at CMU. Dynamics went on to win the $1 million DEMOgod prize as well as several other prestigious competitions.
Pittsburgh gaming company Evil Genius Designs is among the companies partnering with Dynamics. Evil Genius’ game Black Friday utilizes consumer approved purchase data to provide in-game bonuses and power ups to enhance and empower the guests' gaming experience through the Dynamics ePlate.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jeff Mullen, Dynamics Inc.