SONECT’s online platform allows to withdraw cash from any neighbourhood store, restaurant or delivery service by using a smartphone. With selected stores in Winterthur and Zurich, SONECT starts their pilot run already in April. By summer 2017 they will expand into the canton of Vaud where users will be able to order their favourite food and some cash from Smood.ch – a well-known online food delivery service provider.
SONECT had closed a financing round to finance the expansion. Besides PostFinance, the number 1 payment processor in Switzerland, a prominent group of angel investors from Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC)– the leading business angel club in Switzerland– have also participated in the round. SONECT will use this capital also to further develop the platform. “We got in touch with PostFinance when we won their business idea competition PostVenture back in 2015, and we were in talks with PostFinance ever since”, explains Sandipan Chakraborty, Founder and CEO of SONECT.
Bridging the gap between digital and physical (cash) payments
Over 60% of all consumer payments in shops in Switzerland are still done in cash, while the number worldwide is as high as 85%. But cash is costly! Digitization can help to significantly reduce the cost and this is exactly where SONECT comes in. SONECT is a location based online platform that makes cash accessible at the click of a button without visiting an ATM . By recycling cash faster, SONECT aims to reduce the 300 billion Swiss Francs global cost of cash.
With SONECT users will be able to withdraw cash in combination with their next purchase, while dining out at a restaurant or even with your next pizza delivery. Shop owners, on the other hand, benefit as well by reducing their cash overheads and making money for handing out cash. Thanks to SONECT, it also draws new customers to their stores as they act as “Virtual ATMs”.
SONECT’s decentralized cash distribution model is also interesting for banks. It not only reduces their operational costs but also helps them offer their customers an additional service. With SONECT, they can now further reduce the gap between the digital and physical worlds.