In October 2021, the team „Exdome“ presented their idea of a personalized, 3D-printed card case in the scope of the initiative „Youth Entrepreneurship Week“. Since then the aspiring young entrepreneurs – Stefan Brodar, Lukas Poppinger, Lukas Harrer and David Draschkowits – have been supported by oenpay and have been working together with the innovation initiative on the development of a ‘digital hardware wallet’.
A digital wallet allows its owners to complete payment transactions, for instance by debit or credit card in store or online in a web shop. While digital wallets are mostly made available as a ‘mobile app’ on the smartphone (mobile wallet), they can also come in the form of a software program on the PC or in the web browser.
Digital wallets can usually be used in many ways and, in addition to the payment function, can also store customer cards, tickets (boarding passes, concert tickets) or vouchers, for example.
A hardware wallet is a special form of digital wallet; it is a physical device and you do not need a smartphone to use it.
oenpay wants to proactively shape the payment solutions of tomorrow. In its mission, oenpay encourages collaboration not only with with banks, companies and fintechs, but also focusses on supporting young talents and their ideas.
oenpay has been involved in the ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ initiative in various roles since autumn 2021. The ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ supports young people in the development of new ideas and projects and is a joint initiative presented the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economy, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the Austrian Economic Chamber, Austrian Startups and IFTE – Entrepreneurship4Youth. Over 3 ½ days, young talents are invited to dip into the world of entrepreneurship and to work on solutions of the future.
They get the tools they need from trainers and people from the startup community. In addition, they are supported by their dedicated teachers. The associations Austrian Startups and IFTE play a key role in the organization and implementation of the “Youth Entrepreneurship Week”.
Find more information on the current ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Week’ here.
Christoph Cordt, Project Manager at oenpay for digital hardware wallet project, discussed in an interview with the Exdome team and oenpay Managing Director Bernhard Krick how the project evolved and how successful it may be in the future according to oenpay.
Bernhard Krick: ‘At a ‘Demo Day’ of the Youth Entrepreneurship Week at HTL Hollabrunn, during which the students presented their ideas, the team called ‘Exdome’ caught my attention. They presented a 3D-printed, customizable card case to safely store payment cards and loyalty cards. They performed very confidently and had even developed a prototype. The whole team made a very good impression on me. On that day, their idea scored the good second place.’
Bernhard Krick: ‘While I wasn’t immediately interested in the card case idea, it gave me the idea of designing a ‘hardware wallet’ combining the functions of a digital wallet and a payment card. This wallet should enable people who have difficulties using a smartphone to complete digital payment transactions safely and easily. So I approached the students and asked them if they were interested in working out this modified idea together with oenpay and shared my contact details with them.’
Stefan Brodar: ‘A week later, we emailed Bernhard to set up a meeting. oenpay then offered us an internship during which we could work out the concept of the digital hardware wallet. We liked the idea and considered the intership an amazing opportunity to gain experience; so we accepted and successfully completed our internship in the summer of 2022. Moreover, after our internship, we were given the opportunity to take part in a hackathon at the National Bank in autumn 2022.’
Lukas Harrer: ‘Stefan, Lukas and David approached me and told me abouth the hackathon. The challenge asked to develop a concept for the transaction of ‘digital change’ to be used to make donations. They asked me if I would like to participate and support them with software development. I joined them immediately. We were able to score second place with our solution. Participating in the hackathon was exciting and we had a lot of fun.’
David Draschkowits: ‘In return, we won a full-day personal tour through the Oesterreichische Nationalbank conducted by different departments and their employees during which we gained insights into the organization and processes. In addition, we were given the chance by oenpay to continue working on our ‘digital hardware wallet’ project.’
Lukas Poppinger: ‘Since April 2023, we are employed by oenpay as freelancers which allows us to independently develop further our project and to seek support from oenpay staff when needed. With the help of oenpay, we aim to implement and launch our concept and prototype on the market some day. This keeps us motivated to constantly improve our idea.’
Bernhard Krick: ‘I am still very excited to see the commitment of these aspiring young entrepreneurs. The team has already come a long way together, they have acquired knowledge and worked out a solid concept. The cooperation in the team and with oenpay has worked out great without any problems. The involvement of the potential target group will be particularly important when developing a prototype of the hardware wallet. I also do believe that there is a need for such a product. Digitization is progressing at a great pace. Above all, this also influences the way in which we will pay for goods and services in the future. It is particularly important to oenpay that everyone has access to digital payment transactions and that nobody is left behind in the digital transformation. It will take some time to finishe the product concept. But if they continue to work well together as a team in the future, then they will be successful. Of course, oenpay will continue to support them to see them grow.’