Mobile payment company Mezu announced on Wednesday, July 31, the launch of a digital debit card, MezuCardTM, which is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank and backed by Mastercard.
Mezu is a mobile payments app with a linked bank account (and now a debit card) that enables users to pay and collect money. Unlike other mobile payment services, like Venmo and Cash App, Mezu doesn't require you to share any personal information when you send or receive money and can be used globally.
"We created an app that allows people to give and get money using a transaction code rather than their identity," Yuval Brisker, co-founder, CEO and president of Mezu, tells CNBC Make It.
The app and debit card can be used both in the U.S. and internationally, which gives Mezu a leg up on competing P2P apps that require users to reside in America. For example, Venmo's terms state you must be physically located in the U.S.
With Mezu, there's no need to exchange phone numbers or emails. And, your transactions won't be shared publicly. That's compared to Venmo's default settings that make all transactions public for anyone on the app to see. Mezu doesn't require you to specify what the payments are for or worry about the public seeing what you spend on.
However, Mezu users do have the option to use the payment service just like other apps — by linking contacts. But, Brisker says the majority of users (67%) opt to use the app's private settings — demonstrating consumers desire for anonymity.
"You can both have privacy and convenience. You can both use technology and maintain control of your personal information," Brisker says. "Choice and options are huge, and that's what we're trying to do."
When the privacy setting is turned on, Mezu users can simply give and get money via the Mezu app with a unique, one-time encrypted 4-digit code or QR code. You either enter the code on the Mezu app to get money from someone else or share the code with someone to give money. The app also lets you request money. In order to fund your Mezu account, you can set up direct deposit or link an external bank account.
Through a partnership with Mastercard, Mezu customers can now activate a MezuCardTM from within the Mezu app and instantly use it anywhere Mastercard is accepted. MezuCardTM seamlessly integrates with the top mobile wallets, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, for easy use.
Mezu and Mastercard will not share personally identifiable data or transaction histories with third parties.
"Our partnership with Mezu is centered on a mutual vision of enabling people to lead a digital lifestyle in a seamless and secure manner. Alongside an unparalleled commitment to consumers' privacy, our joint goal is to provide consumers with frictionless convenience, no matter where they are in the world," Sherri Haymond, EVP of digital partnerships at Mastercard, said in the press release.
Currently, Mezu users don't have access to a physical card and can't access an ATM, but Brisker says these features are in the works.
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