MintChip, a digital money platform created by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2012 and acquired late last year by a Toronto-based “fintech” (or financial technology) startup, was released to consumers earlier this week.
Canadians are now able to download nanoPay’s MintChip app to send and receive digital money through secure person-to-person payments for free. What’s more, several participating merchants in the Toronto’s Liberty Village are accepting payment for goods and services via MintChip.
“Canadian consumers and businesses have an opportunity to be the first to experience the benefits of MintChip digital cash,” said Laurence Cooke, CEO and founder of nanoPay. “Whether sending money to a friend or paying in-store, MintChip provides Canadians their first glimpse of a cashless society.”
From now until Labour Day, anyone visiting the Toronto area can use MintChip to pay at the following Liberty Village locations:
- Bugigattolo Kitchen
- Ciao Europa Café
- For the Love of Cake
- Home Hardware
- Joker Cafe
- Liberty Village Rotisserie
- Merci mon Ami
- Nutrition House
- Raaw Japanese Sushi
- Smooth Wax Bar
- Suzanne Gardner Flowers
Each customer will receive 20 per cent cash-back 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 or merchant payments.
MintChip was created by the Mint in 2012 as a secure way to store, move and spend money digitally. It uses an encrypted system to process payments instantaneously, requiring no third-party processing to complete the transaction.
This reduces risk and eliminates chargebacks for merchants, resulting in lower fees, according to Cooke.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the value of which is often subject to frenzied fluctuations as it’s not tied to any underlying currency, MintChip uses “digital” money that’s linked to the Canadian dollar.
“With the launch of MintChip in Canada, we demonstrate 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 [application program interfaces] enable developers to easily integrate digital cash into new service offerings that will expand the utility and acceptance of MintChip,” said Cooke.
Canadian consumers can now use a credit card to load money onto the app as well as deposit money from the app into a bank account.