London-based fintech company PENG has appeared on the scene with the use of fake testimonials on its website.
The startup says it is an open banking-powered mobile payment application.
On the weekend, PENG’s branding was used by Deion “The Ghost” Jumah as the cruiserweight took on Richard Riakporhe in the main boxing event at the London Wembley Arena. Jumah lost the fight.
PENG has also lost the fight – in the first round – when it comes to hiding fraud. On its website the fintech firm has three testimonials to support PENG.
Two of them are not real. The image of James Scott, “antique chain owner”, is a stock image from Freepik. While the photo of Katie Morin, “organic baby chef”, is actually of Flora Campbell, who was featured in a Daily Mirror article about her children’s food firm.
PENG’s founders are James Kibera and Simon Reader. Kibera is also the founder of financial services firm trunorFT. Reader is a partner in that company.
In a statement on its website, Reader explains: “PENG will serve the small business community, particularly aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs in the UK, reducing the cost of transaction fees by providing a cost-effective payment infrastructure that has processed volumes exceeding £2.5 billion to date.”
PENG will offer account-to-account payment technology with “the intention of attracting sole traders and the self-employed eager to return to pre-pandemic trade”.
The startup will offer two subscription options and be available on the iOS and Android stores toward the end of April 2022. The PRO option will allow subscribers to send and receive payments to the value of £35,000 per month.
UPDATE: 8 July 2022. PENG contacted eWeek UK to say it has terminated the services of the party who designed its website. PENG points out that the fraudulent testimonials were removed immediately. In addition, procurement policies as to third party selection were overhauled.