Amidst all the noise over Apple Pay this week, another digital payment platform launched on Sept 9th, but with a twist. Vancouver’s nTrust is not trying to replace traditional payment methods, but aims to create “virtual cash” for consumers to make purchases.
The nTrust Group launched its Cloud Money platform which is a peer to peer (and yes regulated) money transfer system capable of sending funds around the globe in a matter of seconds. Users can send money between members, transfer money to their bank account, and pay bills.There are no minimum transfer amount or limits, but international transfers do carry a fee. The app has the ability to exchange currencies from Canada, the U.S., the U.K., the European Union, the Philippines, and Australia.
The online platform stores money in a Cloud for users to manage at their own discretion. Adding money to an account can be done via a bank transfer, wire transfer, or using Interac Online. nTrust’s Chief Experience Officer Rod Hsu said, “It’s being able to interact with people on a financial level but being able to give them the freedom and ability to do that as openly and freely as possible.”
A personalised hashtag feature gives users the ability to categorize purchases with customized hashtags. This allows users to easily track their money when looking at their financial statement. There is an option to instantly create a prepaid virtual MasterCard to facilitate purchases online. However if one so desires, a traditional prepaid MasterCard is also available.
How do payments using Cloud Money work? Each user creates an avatar which has a unique QR code to easily connect with one another. The home screen of the app displays a user’s avatar along with their favorite friends. Users create their own “Favourites” list in-app as well as tag their favorite businesses. To make a payment, users drag their avatar onto another and then enter the desired amount. “The idea is you choose who you want to transact with first, and then you enter the amount,” said Hsu and Wayne Chen, nTrust’s creative director, “Typically, in payment apps, you choose the amount and then choose people after.”
Utilizing BLE technology, the mobile app allows users to see nearby businesses that accept nTrust payments. Businesses will pay one percent for every transaction made using the nTrust platform, and 25% of each commission will be donated by nTrust to a charity of the user’s choice.