Canada

Indigenous company to launch First Nations banking app

Potential health risks or the fear of suffering racial discrimination will be eliminated by a new app which will allow Indigenous people to bank from the comfort of their own home.

Already a leader in electronic voting, vote management and member registrar technologies, OneFeather is releasing the OneFeather APP to help First Nations bank and renew their status cards without having to step foot in a bank.

“As an Indigenous person and CEO and Founder of OneFeather I could not be more proud or happy about our latest offering to Indigenous people,” said Lawrence Lewis.

“Our purpose is to redefine the modern digital experience through innovation and tradition.”

The app could not come at a more relevant time, he added.

“I am saddened by the impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous communities across Canada, but as always inspired by their resiliency and commitment to family and community.”

The digital banking solution will include a physical reloadable VISA for in-person transactions and an Indigenous-only rewards program, which like a point-based system, will offer rewards and benefits on every transaction.

The app will also reduce the risk of status card expiry by moving Indigenous Services Canada’s status card renewal through a digital submission process, OneFeather noted.

App partners include BlocPal International and Berkley Payments, as well as investors such as the Indigenous capital firm, Raven Capital Partners.

“Our partnership with OneFeather is focused on delivering very relevant digital services for First Nations across Canada, meeting the specific needs of community members in a practical way,” CEO of BlocPal, Nick Mellios said in a news release.

“Our technology securely integrates multiple best in class services, like Berkeley Payments’ prepaid Visa and OneFeather’s voting and status card renewal, to make it easy for members to receive the solutions they need from one place, their OneFeather APP.”

Berkley Payments CEO Jonathon Hamburg said working with BlocPal and integrating payments and prepaid allows First Nations to disburse funds to their communities quickly and efficiently, providing users with easy access to funds, and greater spender capabilities, along with cash flow management and elevated customer service.

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A national release of the app which will be free to download and use is anticipated no later than August.

“We are beta testing our app with a group of users through to June, and then may expand user testing for a second round depending on feedback and app performance,” Lewis said. “Our app will redefine the modern banking experience, restore security of Indigenous sovereignty and provide an alternative to the current antiquated practice of applying for SCIS status card renewal plus so much more.”

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