nTrust | BCBusiness

nTrust | BCBusiness

Vancouver-based nTrust foresees the end of cash, but do Canadians trust the cloud?

Imagine paying for your coffee through the cloud—no cash registers or ATM machines necessary, just a couple of swipes on your phone. What do you think: convenience or security disaster in waiting? Vancouver-based nTrust is banking on the former.
 
The tech startup, which released its Cloud Money app Tuesday on iTunes and Google Play, believes Canada is headed for a cashless future. As part of that shift, its new app lets users pay with their phones; basically, you select a participating merchant and enter a dollar amount—including a tip, if you want. You can also send money to your friends. The video below shows how it works:

nTrust says its offering has a couple of advantages over, say, credit cards: for one, the app negates the need for a point-of-sale device; and secondly, the merchant pays just one per cent per transaction—lower than a credit card.
 
“We can clearly see a demand for credit card alternatives and while there are digital methods of payment available, Cloud Money will be one of the first true digital cash platforms that benefits both the consumer and merchant,” said Rod Hsu, nTrust’s chief experience officer, in a press release.
 
One of nTrust’s first partners is DougieDog, a popular Vancouver food truck, which was drawn to the promise of lower transaction fees—a crucial benefit for businesses that sell low-cost goods.
 
But a bigger client has signed on to introduce Cloud Money payments later this fall: UBC’s student society, the AMS, which operates restaurants, cafés and bars in the campus student union building. “In general students are early adopters of new technology,” said Uli Laue, the AMS’s director of operations, in the release, “which is why we feel students will be excited for the opportunity.”
 
Of course, this all comes on the heels of what may have been the highest profile hacking of a cloud service to date: dozens of celebrities had their iCloud accounts hacked and private photos released publicly last week. Not to mention the slew of Bitcoin breaches over the last couple of years.
 
For its part, nTrust says it employs “the highest level of encryption” on its website, meeting or exceeding “every known international banking standard.”
 
So, would you trust your money with nTrust—or any cloud service for that matter?