Every time one wants to get a bank card different advantages, rewards, money-back and so on are offered. A green fintech company comes up with an innovation: planting trees as you spend.
TreeCard, a British digital money app, launched in late 2020, offered the world’s first debit card made from wood, via a partnership with Berlin-based Ecosia. The companies are working together “to build an ecosystem of responsible alternatives to everyday services like banking and internet search. Ecosia manages all of Treecard’s reforestation projects.” TreeCard uses 80% of the profits it makes from merchant fees, for reforestation, “on a mission to plant 1 billion trees”. So far, over 200,000 trees were planted.
“We receive a small fee from stores every time you use your card. We use these fees to plant trees on your behalf. We restore and protect biodiversity hotspots planting in 35+ countries with local organisations,” states the company’s website.
In addition to planting trees, the wooden card gives you “a range of environment-first rewards: from sustainable travel experiences to conscious clothing.” The are no monthly fees or foreign currency exchange fees, and clients are offered up to 3% of annualized interest on their deposits. “The commitment there is that your funds aren’t used for fossil fuel investments,” said Jamie Cox, co-founder and CEO at Treecard.
“We’ve always believed that if there was a button that could make your life more sustainable, then people would press it. There is a desire, and an urgent need, to be more sustainable but too often people don’t know where to start or aren’t sure about the right way to go about it.”Jamie Cox
The planet-friendly recyclable card is currently available only in the US, in Beta testing with a waitlist of 250k people. The start-up raised €23m to grow its team, develop the product and prepare the official launch in 2023. One of the founding partners from Valar Ventures, said: “In the last decade, we’ve witnessed the ability of fintech companies to act as a powerful force for good, for example by effecting positive change in financial inclusion and the democratization of opportunity. We are excited to see Treecard now harness this power to enable people to make more sustainable and environmentally responsible financial decisions.”