Social payments are very much an emerging trend in the UK; paying friends and family via a text with no need to exchange a long list of bank details makes life just that little bit easier. Like a lot of tech trends, China is already a huge user of social payments, and the rest of the world is following suit. We can look to China to see what is perhaps to come, which is interesting. Over there, there’s barely a need for a bank card anymore, let alone cash! Will we see that in the UK some day? Maybe!
For those of us only just making the transition though, I’ve been talking to Circle to find out more. So, to keep it simple (much like the app itself!) here are the top five things you want to know about Circle and why I like it:
1.Easy to set up
First things first, it’s FREE! It’s also really simple to download; just search ‘Circle Pay’ in the App Store or Google Play, or visit: www.circle.com/signup. To sign up, use your email address or phone number. Then, instead of spending ten minutes typing in and triple checking every number on your debit card, all you have to do it scan it and it’ll register the details. The reassuring thing here is that this isn’t a photo that’s saved; the details are recorded in the same way they would be if you’d put them in manually – i.e. ‘VISA **** 1234’.
2. Fingerprint protection
No one else has your fingerprint so if you add yours to the app login, you’ve that as guarantee that nobody else can use it to secretly pay themselves! In addition to the fingerprint protection though, you also set a secure PIN, the app requires two-device verification, and it’s all protected as Circle has FCA authorisation – so don’t worry if you’re behind the times and your phone doesn’t have touch ID, you’re still safe and secure.
3. It’s free wherever you are in the world
Yes, it’s free to download, but is there a charge for sending and receiving money? No. Great, isn’t it? You can even send money to a friend or family member in the UK or US and the money will be exchanged into GBP or USD for free. There are also no limits. So, if you wanted to pay your mum back that £3,000 she lent you for your car, you can do it all in one hit.
4. Friend owes you? Request it back!
We all have that one friend that’s enjoying their evening in the pub, the beers are flowing and it’s all fun and games, but then – oh, it’s their round – where have they gone?! Suddenly needed to get home, did they? Hmm…well, with Circle, you and your other mates can request what they owe! Fill a text with beer emojis and ask for that £5 to be repaid! All they have to do is click accept and you can have that final pint on them. It’s a great way of calling them on their cheeky behaviour and it might just make them re-think skipping out next time.
5. Make money by inviting your friends to join
No, you didn’t misread that! If you invite your friends to join, when they sign up and make a transaction of at least £25, you’ll receive £5 free credit! Invite all your friends and your friends and you could start to make some serious money…although I guess that depends on how popular you are!
6. Great exchange rates & reach
They have the best exchange rates available to the consumers and are available not only in the UK but also Ireland and Spain. They are also thinking about future launches in France, Italy and Germany 🙂