This is a sponsored post by FOOi. All views and opinions expressed represent my own.
Millennials and Gen Z’ers love tech and the ease it brings to getting things done. From automating investing (with lower investment fees) via Robo-advisors, to other “fin-techie” innovations like Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments and P2P lending, we want things done fast, secure and definitely without any hassle.
P2P payment platforms have been around in different formats for a while. Starting with Interac® in Canada, and Venmo® and Zelle® abroad, P2P payments have increased in popularity due to the ease with which they allow you to send money to friends and family without needing to initiate a bank transfer, write a cheque or visit your bank.
FOOi, a new entrant into the peer-to-peer payments space, offers Canadians a new option to send and receive money.
The idea for FOOi originated in late 2016 at a social gathering where two Canadian businessmen, David Morrison and David Cynamon, found themselves chatting about the fact that they rarely carry cash, which is convenient to tip a coat check attendant or car valet. They believed that people whose living depended on spontaneous tips must feel the effects of the march to “cashlessness”, a march that FOOi’s founders believe would be virtually completed within five to ten years.
The two surmised that with all of the technology surrounding smartphones, there was an opportunity to create a solution. With both being entrepreneurial in nature, they felt an urge to pursue the concept. By April 2017, FOOi Inc. was incorporated and staffed with a dedicated team of developers whose mission was to create the app with that specific problem in mind.
During this process, the concept expanded beyond tipping to include peer-to-peer, charitable donations and peer-to-business (P2B) payments. The first version of the FOOi App was formally launched on Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store in May 2018.
The FOOi app aims to serve as a personal digital wallet, giving you the ability to “share money in the moment” to your friends and family, donate to your favourite charity, tip the valet and more.
Sending and receiving money is FREE of charge between FOOi Users. The only fee is a 4.99% upon withdrawal to your Canadian bank account, so it is worth keeping money in your FOOi digital wallet for all of those expected and unexpected transactions.
How To Open a Fooi Account
Getting started with FOOi is pretty easy. Simply go to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store using your mobile device, download the app and install. Direct links to the app are as follows:
Following installation, enable Bluetooth and location services so you can search for and be found by others using the app. You can load money onto your FOOi account using a variety of payment channels, including Apple Pay, PayPal, credit and debit cards. Once you are set up, you are now ready to start sending and receiving money!
What Can You Do With P2P Payment Apps?
A lot! Peer-to-Peer payments make your life easier in so many ways. All it takes are a few taps on your phone and you’re on to your next adventure. Here are some ways FOOi helps to make your day easier:
Life On The Go: If you are like me, you would rather immediately pay a friend back for lunch, not have to have a reminder to do so. The same goes for paying your babysitter or dog walker from anywhere.
Charitable Giving: Donating money to your favourite charity has never been easier. You can give using the FOOi app without having to enter payment details and fill out forms on the charity’s website. Even better, you receive your tax receipts for all donations of $20 or more after entering your address details.
Phones Are Great but Are Not Required: Unlike many other P2P apps, FOOi goes the extra mile to make it possible for you to receive digital payments even without a phone. Simply request a beacon or use the easy search feature, and voilà, you are now visible to those sending you money!
Are P2P’s Safe?
P2P payments platforms are generally safe. They employ high-tech encryption similar to what your bank uses to protect your account and to prevent unauthorized access to your private information and money.
FOOi also has a security process to verify your profile, and another process for charities and businesses to ensure you are paying or donating to the right recipient. That being said, just like your bank account, you should take other precautions as well. These include using a strong password for your account and ensure your smartphone should always be passcode-protected.
My experience with the FOOi app has been pleasant. After downloading the app from the iOS store, onboarding was a breeze and I was able to set up my account in a few seconds. Very little personal information is required – name, email address and phone number (for verification), and you are ready to start receiving and sending money.
If you want to load funds for sending, you will also need to select a payment method. I did send money using FOOi, and it literally took me 5 seconds. Easy-peasy!
Canada is one of the most cashless countries in the world! Fintech keeps growing, and P2P services will continue to gain traction as more and more individuals and businesses utilize this fast payment option.
In addition to FOOi, we can expect to see more Fintech entrants in the peer-to-peer mobile services domain in the near future.
Ease of Use
The FOOi app is your personal digital wallet, and gives you the ability to “share money in the moment” with your friends, family, and charity.