Vancouver’s nTrust pushes “digital cash” payments with Cloud Money platform

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      Vancouver-based tech startup nTrust wants to “free everyone’s money”, according to Rod Hsu.

      “The idea is basically squeezing the entire economy of cash out of the system and turning it into digital cash,” nTrust’s chief experience officer told the Georgia Straight during an interview at the company’s downtown office. “It’s being able to interact with people on a financial level but being able to give them the freedom and ability to do that as openly and freely as possible.”

      It might sound like Hsu is talking about Bitcoin. But he was actually referring to nTrust’s Cloud Money platform, which launches today (September 9) with apps for iPhone and Android devices, and runs on fiat currencies like the Canadian dollar.

      DougieDog, a local food truck, will be the first business to officially accept payments using the nTrust platform. The UBC Alma Mater Society will start doing so this fall.

      Hsu and Wayne Chen, nTrust’s creative director, provided a demonstration of how the apps work. The home screen displays your avatar surrounded by those of your friends and favourite businesses. Each user has a QR code, making it easy to add someone to your list.

      If you want to make a payment to or request payment from someone, you just drag your avatar to theirs.

      “The idea is you choose who you want to transact with first, and then you enter the amount,” Chen said. “Typically, in payment apps, you choose the amount and then choose people after.”

      nTrust has launched its Cloud Money mobile apps.

      As well, Bluetooth Low Energy allows you to see nearby businesses on the platform. When making a purchase, you type in the amount and adjust a slider to determine the tip amount. Both the customer and business will get a transaction notification.

      Any payment can be described with a note and tags. Tagging allows for easier searching of past transactions.

      Businesses will pay one percent of every sale made on the platform to nTrust. Hsu said 25 percent of each commission will go to charities selected by users.

      Users can upload funds to Cloud Money via Interac Online, bank transfer, or wire transfer. They can withdraw funds via bank transfer, cheque, or wire transfer. There’s also the option of creating a prepaid virtual Mastercard for online purchases.

      “We’re not replacing the credit card system—we’re digital cash,” Hsu stressed.

      Within the app, you can exchange money between six currencies—those of Canada, the U.S., the U.K., the European Union, the Philippines, and Australia. Hsu said nTrust has no plans to add Bitcoin.

      Users can take a photo of their government ID and use the optical character recognition feature to speed up the registration process. There are fees for some services, such as international transfers.

      According to Hsu, nTrust’s target market is “micromerchants”—small businesses—and the company has international ambitions. He hopes deals and loyalty programs, which will be added in the future, will offer an incentive for both consumers and businesses to sign on to the platform.



      Robert Paulson

      Sep 9, 2014 at 9:12am

      ...and it works great until one day all of your money has disappeared from your account due to someone hacking into it or their system has crashed. Seriously, why go through all of the trouble to make a "digital cash" account? Because its fun? The risk involved in using this platform makes no sense when you can use a debit card or credit card, or (gasp), real money. Why would you trust anyone outside of a bank to hold onto your money?

      B Smith

      Sep 9, 2014 at 9:45am

      Stay away from the cloud You will crash and burn


      Sep 9, 2014 at 12:20pm

      If Wayne Chen and Rod Hsu did their homework before getting the project on line they would have found out that Apple was working on a digital payment system. Today Apple has released their Apple system for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and it also works with the new Apple watch. I home their project makes one monty before Apple pay hits Canada. It will be a year before we get it running. Rod and Wayne keep at it and make it work!


      Dec 10, 2014 at 8:07am

      Stay far away from this

      my mastercard got hacked and it took them 12 hours to reply by email and there phone for the mastercard only tells to leave a voicemail and they will not refund you had to contact all the merchants and ask them for refunds on my now closed account

      just stay with your debit or credit card


      Feb 5, 2015 at 3:50pm

      @Steven, We are late in response to your comment here, however I believe our team has been in touch and funds made it back to your pocket. I would be happy to discuss our security features like PIN and password enabled access and other preventitive measures to protect your card in more detail at

      In reference to how safe it is to store your money using a Cloud-based service like nTrust, see what our CTO has to say here -

      Daniel - Tech Nerd

      Apr 15, 2015 at 10:32pm

      Why would I use this over Interac email money transfer (e transfer) to send money, no unknown 3rd party, I take payments from clients, friends, and family this way and I send money to vendors, family, and friends. All the fancy features may be nice, but they are all irrelevant when you have to move money to your nTrust account and it's not actually sitting in your bank account where it should be (much easier to keep track of your money when it's in the bank). This isn't new, it's really just a copy of PayPal with new features and no fees for basic use. I'll take the tried and true ORIGINAL digital cash of Interac,