Mint opens voting on future of digital cash

Canadians can now vote on what they consider the best ideas for the future of digital money in this country, the Royal Canadian Mint announced yesterday.

The Mint announced a challenge for software developers April 4 to find uses for a peer-to-peer digital money system. MintChip is the platform developers were asked to work with, storing a monetary value on a digital chip (in this case, a microSD card) and an account that would allow users to store money in the same way they do cash.

Five hundred developer kits were distributed to MintChip developers within four days of the challenge’s launch, the Mint says. Appearing in the Application Gallery on the challenge’s Web site are 57 entries, across several platforms including Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, and mobile Web.

taab has the early lead in the MintChip Developer Challenge.

The early leader with 180 votes is taab, an app that allows users to pay for products or services using their NFC-chip enabled smartphone. A promotional video for the app shows a young couple at a bar, selecting a drink on an app and then tapping it against a tablet terminal to pay.

“Simply show up, tap your phone, and let taab take care of the rest,” a narrator says. “taab, a new way to save you more time in your day.”

The developer that receives the most votes will win a Popular Choice Award. There will also be awards in five other categories including best overall app, best person-to-person app, best business-to-consumer app, best micropayment app, and large organization recognition award. Those awards will be selected by a panel of seven judges that include David Crow, the chief marketing officers at Maintenance Assistant Inc. and Amanda Lang, a senior business correspondent for CBC News.

Voters must register with ChallengePost, which is running the contest for the Mint.  

taab allows users to pay using NFC chips on smartphones.

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