Wish you could send a little gift to a friend remotely in lockdown? Where there’s an app, there’s a way as an Aussie app details.
In these crazy times, you can’t just wander over to a friend’s place and cheer them up, because those are times we’re in. Thanks, coronavirus.
However it doesn’t mean you can’t buy them a cuppa if you so choose, and we may have technology to thank. While there’s always a way to send a gift to friends with a handy delivery, such as a cheeky bottle or some randomly selected cheese and bikkies, a local company has decided to try something a little different, bringing together mobile payments with random acts of kindness.
It’s an idea called “Shouta”, and basically exists as a random digital gifting system, allowing you to choose a rough purchase — say $5 for a coffee or $10 for a lunch — and then issuing that amount to a reloadable digital MasterCard for a phone. Essentially, Shouta generates a prepaid card for a friend based on the amount you want to spend and allows you to constantly add to it as and when you or others want to.
That might be something small like a drink or something bigger, with the digital card working on a mobile with NFC payments, and pretty much requiring that technology. Unlike a physical prepaid card, the Shouta card is entirely digital and loaded with the amount you supply.
Those amounts form something described as “nano-gifting”, where rather than necessarily spend up big amounts in a prepaid card, you can pay using smaller quantities, gifting what you’d expect for them to be used as — lunch, a manicure, the amount needed for a bevy in lockdown such as a quarancino or a quarancini — but then also able to top that card up repeatedly.
“We’ve seen a surge in Aussies looking for innovative ways to connect over lockdown, and with the rise of nano-gifting, we want people to know that thoughtfulness doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming, or boring,” said Carly Shamgar, Co-founder of Shouta.
Worth noting is that while Shouta is free to download (but not free to gift money, because that comes from your own real wallet), whoever you end up nano-gifting needs to have the Shouta app, as that’s where the card is loaded from.
When the app is installed and an account is tied to a phone number and email, the dollar figure you’ve paid for is connected to that user, and a virtual MasterCard can be added to a phone’s Google Pay or Apple Wallet. We didn’t see support for Samsung Pay in the app, however, so it might have to be the main two for Shouta.
That might make it a handy little gift for folks with a phone that supports mobile payments, but not kids under the age of 13. Both wallets from Apple and Google — and most in general — don’t support card access for people under the age of 13, so you can’t gift a child unless they’re over that age to get something nice.
But you can gift others, with the app available on iOS and Android now. While all iPhones from the iPhone 5S and higher should have access to Apple Wallet, if the person you’re gifting has an Android, just ask them if they have Google Pay before you do. If their phone doesn’t support it, you might want to check out whether they have a wearable, as sometimes wearables add support for mobile payment, as well.