In season 7 of Shark Tank, Chris Gilpin, founder and CEO of Signal-Vault LLC partnered with Robert Herjavec & Lori Greiner to bring consumers more security with their credit cards. Thanks to Chris, you can now carry around your wallet without the worry of hackers stealing your information. I had the opportunity to speak with Chris and take a deeper look into just how prevalent identity theft is and how Signal-Vault can help. With the holidays around the corner, consumers will be glad to know they’ll be in good hands! Here’s what you need to know:
Jay: We’ve all had that urgent email from the bank telling us “your credit card information has been compromised”. We’re thrown into panic mode; call the bank, cancel our cards and hope we’ve caught it in time before too much money was taken. Just how prevalent is credit card hacking?
Chris: The numbers are actually shocking! What we see is about 32 million cases of credit cards being compromised a year. When you break it down it’s an astonishing 87 thousand times a day. Interestingly, many people feel it will never happen to them- until it’s too late. People are at risk just about everywhere they go, from the grocery store, the gas station and on the train. There are card snipers everywhere who can steal your information without you even realizing. With today’s technology, hackers can purchase an inexpensive RFID scanner which allows them to steal your credit/debit card numbers without ever touching you or your wallet. With a simple scan they pick up everything they need know to hack into your account.
Jay: Being that the risk is so prevalent what can consumers do about it? Everywhere we go we’re making transactions, so how can we keep our credit cards safer?
Chris: You’re spot on Jay and that’s exactly why we created Signal Vault. By simply placing the card in your wallet, our E-Field technology makes your information invisible to hackers. You’ll avoid that aggravating phone call from the bank saying they’ve detected “suspicious activity” and you’ll be able to go about your day with peace of mind knowing that your information is safe. It’s important to note that Signal Vault is by no means the ‘be all, end all’ solution. In fact, if you’ve taken your credit/debit card out of your wallet to make a payment at a grocery store, gas station or ATM, in most cases you’re now vulnerable again. In many cases it may be safer to use cash or at least use a credit card with a low credit line so in case your information is compromised there’s less on the line.
Jay: I imagine that hackers are constantly trying to outsmart the technology you’ve designed with Signal Vault. Does that require you to constantly upgrade your security?
Chris: That’s a great point and it’s certainly something that we take extremely seriously. Staying ahead of a security breach is so important for every company and many of the biggest companies like Apple, Chrysler, Uber etc, actually hire private hacking companies to make sure their systems are protected. Many companies engage ethical hackers or third party service providers to help them assess their vulnerabilities. We test the Signal Vault with security experts regularly to ensure it adequately protects credit and debit card information from unsolicited attempts to capture your information.
Jay: Getting a Shark on your team is an incredible resource to help any business grow- and you’ve partnered with two Sharks! What’s it like working with Robert Herjavec and Lori Grenier?
Chris: There’s no question about the power and resources the Sharks bring to a young business. We’ve done sales resulting in millions of dollars because of their ability to reach so many people. But it’s really not just about the capital they bring, it’s about their combined knowledge and contacts. As soon as I struck the deal on Shark Tank I wanted to go home to my family and friends to celebrate. However, Lori suggested that we get onto QVC the very next night. Initially I protested because I wanted to get home and I assumed it could wait. However, after she persisted I dropped the party to go onto QVC, and within 8 minutes we were completely sold out! Robert’s connections later enabled us to get onto Good Morning America which brought a huge spike in sales and he’s an expert in cyber security so he’s a perfect fit!
Jay: Are there new angles that you’re working on developing for Signal Vault?
Chris: I’m glad you asked that because we’re actually working on a really cool feature. Every business is always looking to rebrand itself and find creative ways to reach new customers and recently we discovered an incredible opportunity. Businesses are always looking for ways to hand out business cards to prospective clients. But as I’m sure you know, most of them end up in the garbage. So we decided to create Signal Vault business cards where companies can custom design these cards with their company name, logo and contact information to look just like a business card. When you hand a client a Signal Vault business card, instead of tossing it into the pile they immediately put in in front of their wallets! It’s been an amazing success and we’ve been able to attract companies like UBS, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Money Gram, Raymond James and many more. Whatever you do, never be complacent with the success you’ve achieved. Always look for creative ways to broaden your reach!
Chris launched SignalVault with winnings from a lottery ticket in 2013. His company appeared on the Season 7 Premiere of ABC’s Shark Tank where he secured a deal with Lori Grenier and Robert Herjavec. The SignalVault has been featured on Forbes, QVC, CNBC, Good Morning America and news stations across the country. The SignalVault is a practical, high-tech solution to the crime of Crowd Hacking or Electronic Pick-Pocketing. Crowd Hacking is committed when an identity thief or hacker steals your RFID credit/debit card information using a scanner or cell phone. When installed properly, the SignalVault helps makes your information invisible to hackers.