What Happened to Spend Wallet?

Back in 2016, an amazing IndieGoGo campaign took the internet by storm. The Spend wallet was dubbed the newest and next innovation in the way we carry our cash with us on a daily basis and it’s really no surprise to why.

The spend wallets concept was brilliant. Develop the world’s first electronic wallet that digitally combines all your physical credit/debit cards securely into one attractive device. The Spend wallet would have been something that revolutionized the way we carry our cash with us and turned what we knew about the traditional wallet into something far more simple, smaller and easy to carry on a daily basis. 

The issue with current payment solutions is they either require you to carry a large amount of physical cards or cards on your or resort to using mobile payments (apple or android pay). Apple and Android pay would be a fantastic solution if it wasn’t for the fact that only 5% – 10% of stores actually accept the payment. Spend would have used their own so-called ‘MFC’ technology that generates a magnetic field activating a card reader as it we’re swiped.


How much did they raise in crowdfunding?

On June 30th, 2016 Spend Wallet by X Lab, a company based in Newport Beach, USA, managed to raise a staggering £145,838 in raised crowdfunding capital. To put that into perspective compared to other highly successful wallet campaigns like Esker wallet which also raised around the same amount.

This was one of the very few crowdfunding campaigns, in terms of wallets, to achieve some incredible feet and it just wasn’t to show the sheer hype around what this wallet was potentially capable of. 


Why did Spend Wallet fail?

In general Spend Wallet, we’re very transparent with the campaign from start to finish. Unlike many ‘scam’ crowdfunding campaigns (I’m talking about you Volterman) Spend seems to provide a great array of updates to backers while providing the positive and negative aspects regarding where they are in their timeline.  

Looking back at a few of their updates it was clear that X Labs were in progress to have the wallet completed by Q2 2018. They mentioned that if they were to secure their NFC chip from a partner by early January then mass production could begin. But this didn’t happen. The next update regarding the NFC chip was in April 2018 where they announced they had to change the chip and go with another provider further pushing back the project. 

It was this eventual failure to get NFC Chip and the struggle with the certification process that led to the demise of Spend Wallet. This was announced in their final backers update on January 31 2019, 7 months after their previous update. The main reason that led to the failure of the Spend Wallet was money or, therefore, lack of. With this certification process costing more and more with no or little revenue stream Spend had to begin cutting costs rapidly. Firstly the communication team and other core members of the team had to go. Eventually little could be done as the team had to admit defeat. The project was abandoned.


Where are they now?

I thought I’d do a little research into where the founder and then CEO of Spend Wallet, Kevin Kang, is and what he’s doing now. His Linkedin profile really doesn’t shed much light onto where he is and still suggests he’s working as CEO for X Labs, a company that hasn’t existed since they shut down operations. Generally speaking, Kevin has fallen off the face of the earth. He’s website has been shut down along with his twitter. 

I assume the backlash of the Spend wallet probably wasn’t the most pleasant as many people lost a lot of money (including Kevin himself) and we’re probably less than kind during the period they initially shut down. That being said, Kevin did mention that it was possible to get a refund stating in his last post he ‘will continue to communicate with you regarding this matter’. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened and over 1 year later Kevin still hasn’t updated anyone on the potential of a refund. 

If you’re someone who backed the Spend wallet and are looking for information on a refund then you can contact Kevin himself at his personal email address: [email protected]. I have no idea if it will work, but it’s worth a try.

Was Spend Wallet a Scam?

The big question is ‘was Spend wallet a scam’? It’s an interesting dilemma. Unlike other scam campaigns (such as the infamous Volterman Wallet), Spend seemed to be completely transparent right up until the end. The fact now that the company is failing to cooperate and provide refunds is disappointing but unsurprising. After all, Spend Wallet ran out of money. 

The harsh reality is you take a massive risk when you back projects (especially ambitious projects) on Crowdfunding sites and this something people fail to consider when paying for products that don’t yet exist. After having a quick read of the IndieGoGo refund policy it’s clear that they don’t get involved with refunds once the money raised has been passed over to the project. At this point, it comes down to Spend Wallet to do the right thing in regards to refunding backers but I feel they have no obligation to do so.


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