@Lewis Yes, this is one of the biggest issues. We are wanting to target the ‘micro’ exchange market, so like sub USD$100-$150. If you have large amounts to exchange, you should be using the banks, airport booths or online service. In the same way that we all use an ATM at the mall etc… we need to be aware of our personal security. The app offers safety tips to users - always meet in a public place, exchange small bills (less chance of counterfeit notes), photos of the local currency and how to check it’s legit, don’t change large amounts, don’t divulge your home address or hotel location etc… if traveling.
Once the system has found a person nearby to match up with, the app requires you to take a photo of yourself. This must be exchanged with the other party before the exchange will proceed - this way you have a photo, not one from your camera roll, as a record of the people involved. A copy will be sent to our servers too. If one party declines this the app warns the user to not proceed as the other person might be trying to hide their identity etc… there will be the option to dismiss that warning though and still proceed at their own risk. Once they agree to meet, via in app chat, they can say where to meet, start heading to that location, and utilise geo support from the device to indicate proximity of the other party.
@Frozenlock The app will be ad supported with a paid ad-free version. This will also help to get people to try the app and spread the word. The travellers we are targeting, whilst frugal (maybe that wasn’t the best word to describe them), see the whole currency exchange market as a massive pain point.
Everybody hates the feeling of being ripped off, and this is the consistent feedback we’ve found from our customer research. Fees, hidden commissions, wildly varying cross rates eat into your hard earned cash. In that sense, backpackers or family holiday makers are very keen to have an alternative way to handle their currency exchange. Business travellers often just use a credit card for everything and in many cases never even get local currency. If they do, they are happy to keep it, knowing that they’ll be returning again soon to the same country.
@craigvn We are looking at a reputation system as well as possibly a partner/accredited user program. These partners could be coffee shops or vendors in airports/train stations who see lots of foreign travellers. They could be flagged by the system as trusted, which also helps with the security issues for travellers.