Read our Circle Pay App review below. Circle is one of the hottest FinTech startups in the world right now, aspiring to revolutionize eWallet and be a some form of Paypal at a whole new level. Read the following Q&A session made with an executive in the company, and learn more about it. Here’s our take on it:
What is Circle all about? is it about personal payments or remittances? Is it a means of communication? an eWallet? What’s the end-goal?
Circle is a consumer finance company that leverages the blockchain to allow consumers around the world to send and receive money to friends and family. Circle believes that money should work the way that the internet works — instant, open, global, free, and fun. We can share messages, experiences and photos and videos with one another; we can communicate in real-time with anyone on the planet; we can publish our news and opinions through any form of content, all in an instant, open, global, free and delightful way. Money should work the same way.
Circle has been at the forefront of bringing the power of the open internet to the world of consumer finance. Working with banks and regulators, Circle has been committed to developing technology that transforms financial services and creates a world where consumers can transact with one another in the currency of their choice instantly, globally, securely, and for free.
How does Circle work? Is it connected to a debit card? Can you fund your account using a bank wire?
Circle’s social payment app allows customers in the US, UK and Europe, to send and receive payments instantly, without fees. With Circle you can link to your debit card and bank account to add money to your account or cash out. Circle does accept credit cards, but charges a standard processing fee if you use your card to fund your account.
There are no limits on spending and receiving money through Circle and Circle offers the highest initial deposit limits of any social payments service.
Which services is Circle integrated to? iMessage is one I read about, but there are surely more.
Circle last year announced the launch of its availability for iMessage, which enables anyone using iOS 10 to send and receive social and personal payments without fees to anyone in the world directly within iMessage. Customers can send dollars, euro, and pound sterling to anyone directly inside of iMessage, and can fund payments and cash out using almost any bank in the US, UK and Europe.
Circle also recently launched Spark, a new blockchain-based protocol to facilitate trusted, compliant money transfers between participating individuals and institutions over the Bitcoin network.
There are many use cases for the technology, but the initial focus is on connecting digital wallets around the world while ensuring that full KYC/AML and compliance requirements can be met, and presenting a seamless experience that reflects local currency exchange rates and conversion rule contracts. With Spark, Circle brings the benefits of public blockchains and digital assets to consumers without requiring them to know the technical details.
What kind of markups are being charged to move between the three currencies offered?
While money wire services like Western Union charge 5-10% between service and conversion fees, Circle believes that the open Internet can power the free and instant exchange of value to consumers anywhere in the world. Just like you’ve never heard of sending “cross-border email”, Circle believes soon there will be no such thing as a “cross-border payment.” Circle doesn’t charge a fee for transfers and offers a low exchange spread rate that is usually around .3% or .4%.
Does each user have a multi-currency wallet? or can you just assign a currency to each transfer?
Circle automatically converts money sent into the receiver’s local currency of receiver (USD, Pound Sterling or Euros.)
Which regions can use Circle for the time being? Are you planning on expanding? If so, where and when?
Circle’s vision involves connecting the world’s major currency zones. So far, Circle has launched its service in the US, UK and Europe, and supports the exchange of dollars, pound sterling, and euro, in addition to connecting to various bitcoin wallets.
In terms of expansion, China is a big focus for expansion throughout Asia. Circle believes that Chinese consumers will play a much bigger role in the global economy, and as a result, the RMB will become a much more important currency in the world. Through Circle and the use of open Internet protocols like the blockchain, Chinese consumers will be able to get the benefits of open, blockchain-powered payments. While Circle is not yet offering a commercial product and service in China, the company is committed to the development of a China-native company, Circle China.
What are the main challenges with Circle? Is it tech or more around regulation, biz dev, and banking?
We are still in the early days of this global transformation in value exchange, but the barriers and boundaries are slowly dropping away, replaced with open protocols (e.g., blockchain), and improved user experiences (e.g., messaging and social payments). Continue expansion and support for new currencies rests on securing banking partnerships, which Circle has accomplished in the U.S. and with several countries in Europe, in addition to navigating the complex and varied regulatory hurdles that each country presents for a FinTech startup like Circle.
How does the company plan to spend more than $100m that were invested in it? Why is it needed?
Circle has raised a total of $136M from Goldman Sachs, Baidu and IDG Capital.
Circle’s most recent round of funding was $60M in financing and was led from a syndicate of major Chinese strategic investors, The latest strategic round is part of Circle’s global endeavor and nascent expansion into China itself with the goal of creating an open, global model for social payments that enables consumers in China, the US and Europe to exchange value the same way we share content and communicate.
Circle Pay Editorial Review