Montreal-based mobile payment startup sees international growth

August 8, 2017

In Canada, the growth of electronic payments has largely been driven by convenience.

But that’s not the case everywhere.

In many countries, governments are trying to discourage people from using cash in an effort to make corruption and tax evasion more difficult.

Last November, for example, India removed 500- and 1,000-rupee notes (worth around $10 and $20) from circulation.

Greece has gone even further, implementing cash-withdrawal limits and offering an income-tax deduction to people who spend a certain percentage of their income electronically.

For one Montreal company, that’s an opportunity.

Mobeewave makes a software product that allows ordinary smartphones to accept contactless payments.

The idea is that instead of tapping a credit or debit card on a specialized payment terminal, purchasers tap their card on a phone running an app that uses Mobeewave’s technology. Currently, the company’s software works with recent Samsung phones.

“In those markets where government is pushing a lot, the traction we have is super fantastic,” said Maxime de Nanclas, the company’s co-founder and COO. “They need a digital solution and if you go the route with terminals and bulky things, it’s going to take years.”

The app-based approach also takes advantage of the fact that in many countries where governments are pushing digital payments, banks have less penetration.

“In those regions, what we see is nobody has a bank account, but everybody has a phone,” said Benjamin du Haÿs, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

 

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