New U.K. App Allows Consumers To Make Purchases With Gold
(Kitco News) - The remonetization of gold has taken a major step forward as a new fintech start-up now allows people to buy products through a gold-backed debit card.
U.K.-based Glint Pay announced Tuesday the release of beta-app and credit card that allows consumers to buy portions of gold and then use the account to make purchases. The gold-focused payments company has partnered with Mastercard and Lloyds Banking Group for the new venture that brings gold into the mainstream.
“Glint’s ability to use gold as money as part of the global payments system is a landmark event,” said Jason Cozens, co-founder and chief executive officer. “Everyone is familiar with gold as one of society’s oldest means of exchange, its universal acceptance, its reliability, its history as a store of wealth and as a means of underpinning the value of ‘paper’ currencies. Unlike ‘paper’ currencies, gold can’t be wiped out, devalued or corrupted.”
The way the program works is that consumers can load money into their Glint account and then convert those funds into other currencies including gold.
The value of gold in an account will be based on interbank exchange rates and there are no hidden charges for users, according to Glint.
As a financial company, Glint is authorized and regulated by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, with clients’ money stored in segregated bank accounts. Physical gold holdings are legally allocated to each individual client and held in a London Bullion Market Association-accredited Brink’s bank vault in Switzerland.
The app and debit card, while in the testing phase, are only available to British and European residents. According to reports, they will be rolled out in the U.S. and Asia next year.
The launch of the app comes as the U.K sees it highest inflation levels in five years, rising 3% in October. The British pound has lost ground against most major currencies following last year’s referendum, which showed support for the country to leave the European Union.
So far this year, spot gold is up 3% against the pound in what has been a fairly volatile year. Gold last traded at £967.44 an ounce. In the global market, gold prices are up more than 8% since the start of the year, with Comex December gold futures last trading at $1,280 an ounce.