The UK arm of Santander has announced the launch of a new prepaid account in conjunction with Kalixa Payments and Monitise that will allow up to 100 people create and manage collective pots of money. The new product, “Kitti” will be available on iOS and Android and to anyone aged 18 or over with a debit card in the UK.
According to Santander, once the consumer downloads the app and registers as a KiTTi “owner” they are issued a contactless prepaid MasterCard and can begin inviting friends to join the app via text. Invited friends can enter their debit card details and begin paying into the account. The account is given a name, target value and payment milestones and according to Santander charges 35p ($.55) charge for every deposit that is made into the account.
Commenting on the launch, Sam Nixon, head of KiTTi at Santander said,
“The idea behind Santander’s KiTTi app, which is completely unique in the UK, is to make it much easier for groups of people to pay for virtually anything, and with just one single KiTTi prepaid card. It’s really that simple. It’s easy to set up, invite friends to join, pay money in and take money out. Perfect for the WhatsApp generation.”
Shakespeare famously once wrote in Hamlet, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” and the new Kitti application does remove the need for individuals to be both borrowers and lenders among their social circle. While the application does help solve an annoying problem among friends, Kitti might not be the most efficient approach as other payment solutions like the Alipay mobile wallet. The Alipay mobile wallet allows consumers to sync wallets and collectively pay at different levels without a pooled account. So while the Kitti account may be moving in the right direction, the pooled account feature may not be as popular as expected.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Service
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