Startups

RBC, Vouchr Collaborate To Launch North America’s First Social, Personalized Cash Gifting Service

What do you give the person who has everything?

It’s an age-old question — or one that is at least as old as the Hallmark era — which has made gifting opportunities out of not only birthdays but also Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, Valentine’s Day and other, more traditional holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah.

With so many gift-giving scenarios on the calendar, it can be hard to come up with something unique for each one. And, when thinking about the perfect gift for the recipient, it can be even harder to come up with something meaningful. That’s why so many gift-givers go the route of cash, checks and gift cards. The options may not be very personal, but they guarantee that the recipient will wind up with a gift he or she really wants and loves.

Enter FinTech startup Vouchr, which aims to make the cash-giving experience a little more personal with a digital version of the Chinese “red envelope” tradition — a means of tailoring the package, at least, to say something more than just, “Happy birthday. Here’s a hundred bucks.”

Vouchr founder Robert Balahura told PYMNTS part of the inspiration for the platform came from WeChat’s red envelope program and part from his background in mobile gamification.

Also enter the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), which has just collaborated with Vouchr to offer personalized digital cash gifting through its RBC Wallet mobile app. The capability recently went live with RBC, building on the bank’s leadership position in the peer-to-peer (P2P) payments space.

Through the RBC Wallet app, eGift senders can choose a virtual wrapping paper to suit the occasion, attach a personal video or mobile game to add fun and excitement to the “unwrapping” experience or send the recipient on an adventure by geo-locking the gift so he or she must go to a certain location to open it.

Balahura and Vouchr believe “there’s always something more to say beyond the cash.”

“Instead of thinking of digital money transfer as only a transaction, there is an untapped opportunity to evolve it into a communication platform that lets people interact and express themselves,” Balahura wrote in a blog post on Medium. “If we treat money transfer like a communication tool, say, like Snapchat, many principles can be applied that open a big vision ahead, like building new social experiences on top of the basic money transfer.”

To send a gift through the RBC eGift mobile app, the sender must have an iOS device running version 9.0 or later and have the RBC Wallet app. Recipients need to download the RBC eGift App — available on iOS devices running version 9.0 or higher or Android devices running version 5 or higher — to open and accept the gift.

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