Rapid cash

Hicks on Biz: Rapid Cash innovates in speed


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By GRAHAM HICKS

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At your local or future bottle depot, there is an automated payment system for your empty bottles.

Sorting and counting bottles remains a manual operation. But the worker keeps track on a screen that you can see. When it’s done, a piece of plastic the size of a credit card is handed to you… with your refund embedded in it.

You are heading to an ATM, but much larger with a giant screen. The inserted plastic is read, the amount is displayed on the screen. Take out your money … and the plastic card stays behind to be wiped off and reused.

This is a major innovation in the field of “money processing”. This is just the start and Edmonton-based Rapid Cash is leading the charge.

“Think about what cell phones were capable of doing 10 years ago,” says Rapid Cash President and CEO Bill Eaton. “And think about what smartphones can do today. This is where we go with processing money.

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Rapid Cash had a good reputation as an ATM contractor, servicing and repairing “white label” (ie non-bank-affiliated) ATMs across Canada.

But Eaton was restless. He envisioned a cash machine that could do a lot more. “As a business owner, you are always slightly paranoid,” says Eaton. “One eye turned to the front, the other turned to the rear. Innovation must show the way.

A regional payday lender offered Eaton its eureka moment. How about an ATM that could be hooked up to computers in its stores, suggested the merchant, which could distribute money in the form of a loan, track individual loans?

Hmmm, said Eaton, I think Rapid Cash could do it.

Rapid Cash has worked with ATM manufacturers on a hardware level, developing an ATM-type cash dispensing “kiosk” with new features, such as larger screens.

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Rapid Cash innovates in software programming.

The Eaton team uses their expertise to transform the humble brain of ATMs into a sophisticated, powerful and user-friendly transaction machine. The work is revolutionary. Rapid Cash has filed for US patents on at least four of its software applications.

The special cash refund machine developed for the 223 members of the Alberta Bottle Depot Association is a prime example. In bottle depots, as in the payday lending industry, such automation can replace at least one actual employee – a trend undeniably accelerated, Eaton says, when the NDP government raised Alberta’s minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.

Machines make theft almost impossible, and sophisticated record keeping can easily detect internal fraud. If the bottle depot transaction records don’t match the actual bottles being returned, the owner knows something is wrong.

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These kiosks will handle cell phone account top-ups, money transfers, cryptocurrencies, and dozens of other ongoing client-employee transactions. It will provide superior security through automated ID photo comparisons and government ID scanners. “Standard ATMs,” Eaton explains, “don’t have the power or IQ to operate at this level”.

Why is there a demand for these improved ATM-plus kiosks when so many money processing functions are already available through smartphones and personal computers?

Eaton responds simply and directly. The “underbanked” portion of the population, those who live paycheck to paycheck, need banking services and processes. The big banks are not interested.

Rapid Cash is looking for strategic growth opportunities. “No missteps so far,” says Eaton, sitting in his modest office in an indescribable 10,000 square feet. building in the northwest of the city. “We buy bigger shoes and grow them. “

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In 10 years, Eaton intends to increase Rapid Cash sales tenfold, from $ 5 million to $ 10 million per year. The Rapid Cash team works internationally. A Vietnamese bank, for example, turned to Rapid Cash looking for kiosk banking solutions unique to that country.

Vegas is watching. Rapid Cash kiosks designed for casinos are being tested at the River Cree Casino.

“Edmonton has a surprisingly strong FinTech industry thanks to Servus, ATB Financial, CWB, AIMCO and pension funds,” said Jason Ding, business advisor at Deloitte. “Rapid Cash is part of that. ecosystem, a very cool fintech company that has flown under the radar.

“Payment processing is a complex and highly regulated business,” says Ding. “Rapid Cash broke through the initial hurdles. He has great potential. “

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