Cash-in-Hand on the Go

By Ionela Barbuta

If you are a frequent world traveler you probably know what it means to be short on cash in a foreign country. If not, imagine you’ve just had dinner at a fancy restaurant, but once the bill comes you realise that you have no money, no time to hit the ATM, and that the hidden fees, high costs and fluctuating foreign exchange rates for card payments will add 10% to the initial amount you have to pay.

On that darkest of days, an “instant cash loan” would really come in-handy. Luckily for you, three Romanian developers have come up with an idea that could help you pay the bill in cash without the use of an official financial institution as an intermediary. The mobile P2P lending service they designed allows you to gain access to money in an easier and more transparent way.

How does it work exactly? All you have to do is mention the amount of cash you need and everyone using the application in the surrounding area will be able to see your “cry for help” and decide if they want to lend you the money. Once someone expresses his desire to help you, the platform will do a quick check on your bank account and then send a confirmation code for the transfer. This is definitely a win-win situation for all parties involved: you get the cash you need to pay for your dinner, the person who helped you gets his money back plus a little something extra 🙂 and the service provider will get its fee.

The app has a cloud-based back-end built on top of the Microsoft Azure platform. In order to ensure an efficient development process, the mobile application has been constructed in Xamarin, a framework which allows parallel Android, iOS and Windows Phone deliveries by sharing the same codebase. For payment processing, the application has been integrated with payment service provider Stripe.

The current mobile app was developed during a 48-hours Fintech Hackathon which took place in Iasi, Romania, in May 2016. The main idea behind the Hackathon was to gather a group of developers, designers and Fintech enthusiasts eager to share their expertise and disrupt the financial sector with their apps, APIs and other payment-related tools.

The above mentioned “Cash-in-hand” mobile application, developed by Ciprian-Stefan Grigore and Constantin Ursu, Software Developers at Maxcode, together with Horia Ciochina, Senior Consultant at Nasarius, has won the 1st prize based on the novelty of the idea, versatility of software, cooperation between team members, business model and design aesthetics.

When asked about future plans to upgrade the app, the tech guys have revealed their intentions to combine peer-to-peer lending with remittance services. This feature will enable currency transfers at a flat rate to different countries. Money transfers in Bitcoins and other digital currencies are also something they consider taking into account.

The traditional financial market offers both international and domestic money transfer services that are rather complex and sometimes even customer unfriendly. As the fintech wave gains ground, companies and financial institutions alike have the possibility to change the current paradigm by enabling the development of such innovative financial solutions.

Ciprian-Stefan and Constantin have been with Maxcode for a couple of years now and have extensive knowledge in working with payment applications. They are also fond of blockchain and fintech.

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