Search engine Ecosia opts for fintech push with wooden debit card

By Daniel Lanyon on Thursday 15 October 2020

Editor's PickDigital Banking

TreeCard, a new ‘eco-friendly’ debit card uses merchant transaction fees to plant trees.

Search engine Ecosia opts for fintech push with wooden debit card
Image source: Treecard CEO Jamie Cox

Could 'green oak' be the new 'hot coral'?

TreeCard, a free eco-friendly debit card that channels profits from merchant transaction fees to directly to tree planting has opened its waiting list for its brand new wooden debit card.

The firm says it will be able to plant one tree for every £45 spent via its card in areas of the world experiencing deforestation.

The firm is backed by a $1m investment from search engine Ecosia, that also uses its advertising revenues to plant trees.

Ecosia, which has 15 million users, will also provide financial, commercial and marketing support to TreeCard. In return, Ecosia will receive a minority stake in the business, although TreeCard is independent.  

TreeCard will be jointly based in London, Europe’s fintech capital, and the home of TreeCard founders, and in Berlin, where Ecosia is based, in order to access 'passporting' rights for the European Union marketplace. The TreeCard founding team includes CEO Jamie Cox (pictured), the 23-year old founder of Cashew, a fintech startup admitted to Y Combinator in 2017, and Peter Francis (COO) who recently raised over $250,000 for refugee camps across Lebanon and Iraq.   

Cox says there is a gap in the market for a green debit card offering.

"The current crop of challenger banks haven't really changed anything, aside from mildly improved customer services and the digitisation of some elements of the personal finance process, the players are just as profit hungry and eager to become an overbearing monopoly as legacy banks," he said.

TreeCard will be partnering with FinTech platform Synapse, a backend technology provider for banking and financial services, including card processing through Mastercard.   

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