MintChip digital cash platform live in Canada; US and UK to follow
Toronto-based start-up, nanoPay, which acquired the assets of the digital currency business of the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM), MintChip, in early 2016, launches new digital cash.
The first commercial application of MintChip is in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood, where consumers shopping or dining at participating merchants can use MintChip to pay for goods and services.
Each customer will receive 20% cashback on all purchases made with MintChip, up to a total value of $50, and will be entered to win MintChip cash prizes every time they use MintChip for person-to-person (P2P) or merchant payments.
On a broader geographical scale, nanoPay says that “all Canadians can download and use MintChip to send and receive digital cash with friends and family for free through secure P2P payments”.
Laurence Cooke, CEO and founder of nanoPay, comments that “MintChip provides Canadians their first glimpse of a cashless society”.
He emphasises that “it is feasible to replace physical cash with digital cash, while showing the viability of the platform to banks, merchants and developers worldwide.
“Open APIs enable developers to easily integrate digital cash into new service offerings that will expand the utility and acceptance of MintChip.”
NanoPay is now eyeing the US and UK markets, Banking Technology understands.
The company is keen to grow the MintChip recognition via partnerships with central and commercial banks, telcos, retailers, acquirers, developers and POS vendors.
NanoPay and MintChip: the origins
When RCM puts its MintChip business up for sale, around ten companies were interested in acquiring it and the discussions to offload the business continued for over a year.
Developed by RCM in 2012 as an alternative to Bitcoin, MintChip was initially backed by the Canadian dollar. It was subsequently pitched as a digital currency (with many attributes of cash) stored on a microSD card.
NanoPay describes MintChip as “the first digital cash platform to kick start the evolution of currency”. It supports retail, e-commerce and B2B payments.
It is “faster, safer and at a fraction of the cost of other digital payment alternatives available today”, the vendor claims.
“MintChip uses secure asset stores to move funds, which can be denominated in any recognised national currency, between parties without an intermediary and can process transactions both online and offline. This reduces the cost and risk of financial transactions by enabling real-time settlement with no recourse and non-repudiation.”