Moving money in/to the 21st Century: the new Peer-to-Peer payment system

Do you know PayPal’s vision when it was created? Well it was one of smiling people that split the bill after having brunch together but don’t have to squander their time looking for correct change. Well I think it is fair to assume that that has not become reality. I recently tried to collect money after communal cooking using PayPal and it was a nightmare. Slow, cumbersome and at times just too complicated. Transferring £3.50 should not involve so much hassle. Credit has to be given where Credit is due though. Elon Musk’s PayPal opened up the door for online payment systems that are orders of magnitude easier than filling out bank forms, cheques or using Sort Codes. PayPal is great for online purchases, but in the realm of Peer-to-Peer, it has always lacked. Now new companies are stepping in to fill the gap.

If you have followed industry trends in Financial Technology (FinTech) then the name Blockchain should mean something to you. If it does not mean something to you, the quickest explanation is probably this; it is a document that tracks all changes and transactions that have been made to certain objects. The document is not held on one computer but all simultaneously in the network that are constantly checked against each other. Circle is using this technology to make Peer-to-Peer payment a whole lot more enjoyable. They started in Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that brought Blockchain into the common eye, but have now completely separated themselves from this. The remnants of this system also mean that is completely free.

Now imagine that you have Facebook Messenger, but with the addition of being able to transfer money right through the app if you pester your friend for the pint money from yesterday. It can be password protected or secured with finger prints. And it is instant. You press send and the money appears on the other Circle account. Naturally it still takes time if you cash out to your bank account. Apparently you can also send money between countries without fees. I have not tried sending money from Germany, but if it as good as it sounds then I know that it will get a lot of use from me. Currently however, only Euros and Dollars are supported. If you aren’t convinced by my testimony, maybe the star case of their venture capital rounds will convince you. Goldman Sachs invested, so did General Catalyst Partners (they supported Deliveroo) amongst six others.

What happens if you are trying to crowdsource the money for the Birthday Pub Crawl? This is where Tilt comes in. Although not quite as revolutionary in its technology, the concept is just as revolutionary as Circle. Imagine Kickstarter, but on a much smaller scale. You create an event and then your friends can pay into the pot. Similar to Circle you can also request and send money directly. For stuff like meal get together, this app seems perfect. I do have to gripe about the lack of security. No passcode protection or two-step verification is needed for payments. I also do not like the news feed style of other people’s transaction. However, Tilt does offer the organize function, which could be extremely useful where Circles functionality ends.

Disclaimer: Free Cupcakes were given to the Gryphon Office by Circle when they were on campus. Although they were very good, it did not influence the writing of this article.

By Tim Knickmann

Photo from : (Blog.Circle)

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