Cashcloud SA, a start-up venture in Luxembourg, is testing a mobile wallet and rewards currency throughout much of Europe.
The Cashcloud eWallet is a mobile payment system for Apple iOS and Google Android phones. The mobile wallet includes person-to-person payment options through Facebook, with options for Twitter and Google to be added in the future, Cashcloud states in a March 27 press release.
Cashcloud touts its own rewards currency, in the form of "cashcredits," which the user can exchange for funds to use for online games, person-to-person payments and other purposes, the company states.
The rewards-currency concept is not a common feature of the various mobile wallets in use today. Google Wallet and Isis, for example, focus more on providing discounts for specific purchases than on earning a rewards balance.
Starbucks allows users to optionally earn rewards through the use of its mobile-payment app, and shopkick's mobile app allows users to earn "kicks" by visiting and making card payments at certain retailers.
With a wallet like Cashcloud's, "you have to find the value proposition in it, and it could be specific to Luxembourg," says Jeffrey Green, director of emerging technologies advisory service for Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group.
If Cashcloud establishes its system as "cheaper than plastic or regular currency," it could convince consumers of the value in it, Green says. "But they have to bring in [a concept] that merchants really want."
European banks are discussing implementing the International Bank Account Number and bank codes for Cashcloud to make money transfers between banks, the company says.
In the meantime, Cashcloud users can make person-to-person payments. In addition, Cashcloud will soon offer a contactless payment sticker to adhere to smartphones for contactless payments.
All payments through Cashcloud are linked to a prepaid account, the company says.
The Cashcloud application was designed to reach young and innovative users within social networks, Olaf Taupitz, managing director of Cashcloud SA, says in the press release.
"It is the dawn of a new age," Taupitz says. "Traditional banks and payment providers which still focus on computer-based payment systems are way behind the latest user requirements."
Cashcloud also offers a mobile advertising directory to deliver offer coupons and vouchers directly to the smartphone. Cashcloud operates as an open platform, regardless of the user's mobile network operator or bank.