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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Fridays with Fintechs: How Hamburgers Inspired Payments Innovation

My buddies and I are constantly in the pursuit of the “perfect burger.” So much so that I once sent my friend $20, using a Canadian e-transfer money service, and a message telling her to visit the restaurant and taste it for herself.

burgerThat experience sparked an idea – what if I could send her $20 with a message about the burger, attach a photo of me eating the burger and geo-lock the money transfer to that restaurant location so she could only spend it there?

Genius! I began prototyping an app that would let users send someone a burger or a drink at a local spot and fell in love with the concept of bringing local, social and payments together.

But a disconnect in the user experience soon surfaced – the app wouldn’t let people actually pay the merchant with the transfer itself. They’d have the funds but still needed to pull out a card separately.

I got back to work and met with different payment companies with a goal of bridging the gap. One by one, a common request emerged – they wanted to infuse our ideas into their own products. The feedback was that my solution would differentiate their services and win over millennials who used Venmo because of the social and fun features attached to transfers.

We never did find the right money transfer system for our own app but we instead discovered an untapped opportunity in fintech. Financial institutions needed to focus on the nuts and bolts of payments and we could operate as a top coat of paint that gave people new reasons and ways to use money transfers.

phoneFast forward to today and we now license a platform to financial institutions called Vouchr – which according to us is “the world’s first engagement platform for money transfer.” Our technology lets banks add end-to-end user experiences on their own money transfer rails and deliver new ways to engage consumers. These include personalizing transfers with messages and photos, cash gifting, gamifying rewards and even local burger sharing. Our story is a great example of setting out to accomplish one thing and discovering a hotbed of innovation in another.

Vouchr is live with the largest bank in Canada and already personalizing people’s transactions in almost every market around the globe. People especially love using our cash gifting and eGift product because we’ve found that almost half of money transfers have a gift-giving motivation.

Next up for us is participating in Mastercard Start Path with the hopes of expanding our reach and adding our flows to enhance Mastercard products in the future.

Mastercard Start Path brings together a global network of innovators including banks, merchants and startups to launch collaborations and build the future of commerce together. The program accepts applications from later-stage tech and fintech startups who have raised a significant seed or Series A round of investment. Startups who are ready to make an impact by tapping into Mastercard and its partners’ solutions can visit to apply.