ChangeJar: Losing the Loose Change
For as long as we can remember, cash has always been king. However, cash also comes with its inconveniences — and one that comes to mind is: change.
Let’s face it, nobody likes carrying around loose change in their pocket. And it gets worse when you have to dig it out of your skinny jeans, fumble with the coins a bit while trying to count the exact amount, before finally handing it over to the clerk who has been observing your little ordeal for the past 30 seconds.
What if there’s a way to eliminate the hassles of dealing with change while maintaining the benefits of cash? Enter: ChangeJar — fee-less, anonymous, and instantaneous mobile app that digitizes your change onto your phone.
ChangeJar is a Fintech located in Toronto that lets you pay for your coffee or send money to your friends instantaneously all on the mobile app or through Facebook Messenger. Like physical cash, it’s not tied to a bank account and personal information is never shared. For businesses, merchants can sign up to eliminate fees associated with credit and debit cards, do away with handling cash, and reward their favourite loyal customers.
CEO and Founder, Tom Camps, is the entrepreneur and innovator behind the idea. The concept was first incepted when he was grabbing sandwiches with his son. With a handful of sandwiches and a handful of coins, both of them agreed that they both really hated change.
We had the opportunity to chat with Tom and get some more insight on digital payments, a cashless society, and the future of ChangeJar.
Trulioo: What would you say are the biggest reasons Canadians lag behind when adopting digital payments? How is ChangeJar overcoming these hurdles?
Tom: I don’t think Canadians are lagging in digital payments but we certainly are behind in mobile payment adoption.
Canada has a high penetration of contactless card payment. Interac and credit cards are just so easy to use. And frankly, the mobile wallets only make the payment experience different, not better — tap your card on a phone or tap your card in your hand. Services like Apple Pay are just not a better enough experience to change consumer behavior. If it’s not a game changer in retail, there is no motivation for the merchants to encourage mobile wallet use. Banks are lukewarm (at best) on mobile payments that don’t carry their brand. So… why use mobile payments based on credit cards?
Now, ChangeJar is entirely focused on mobile cash payments. We eliminate the annoying parts of physical cash: withdrawing cash, carrying cash, counting cash and carrying the change. But we preserve all of the virtues of cash: no transaction fees, immediate transfer of value and privacy. For consumers, no ID, bank account or credit card are ever required.
ChangeJar mobile cash improves the consumer and merchant experience by more than 10x over physical cash.
What are your thoughts on a cashless society? Will it happen? If so, when? And if not, why not?
Tom: There will still be physical cash in 20 years. There are just too many use cases for cash payment especially with the financially challenged demographics. The other lingering uses will probably be for quasi-illegal activities because cash will probably always be the last way to do anonymous transactions. But the governments will keep whittling away at these with laws and technology.
Nobody likes change, but everyone loves progress. Anything exciting we can look forward to from ChangeJar in the near future?
Tom: Our value proposition to merchants is very clear: no transaction fees, faster transactions, and the ability to enable rewards and promotions. Over the next six months, our merchant announcements will be around further eliminating their barriers to adoption.
But most of the fun stuff, new products and releases, are for the consumers. We are on a mission to make mobile cash easier, faster and more secure than paying with credit card. And, OMG, we have such a great story, stay tuned!
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