The green search engine, Ecosia, which recently planted 100 million trees, has today announced that it has bought a 20% stake in TreeCard, a wooden debit card. Ecosia said 80% of the profit that TreeCard makes will be reinvested in Ecosia’s reforesting projects around the world.
According to Ecosia, each TreeCard is unique because it’s made from sustainably sourced FSC cherry wood. If you find it a little hypocritical that a firm that plants trees is using wood to make cards you’ll be pleased to hear that a single tree can create 300,000 cards. By using wood, TreeCard and Ecosia do not have to use plastic which takes a very long time to decompose.
With the debit card, users will not have to pay a fee, instead, TreeCard makes money from interchange – a fee that stores have to pay on each transaction. Ecosia will spend 80% of the income from the interchange to plant trees, it estimates that customers will need to spend $60 to fund a new tree.
TreeCard accounts are full-featured deposit accounts and will be able to receive direct deposits and ACH transfers. The debit cards will be on Mastercard’s network and will be linked to an account that will be manageable from an app on smartphones. Deposits will be insured up to $250,000 by TreeCard’s banking partners and they can also be linked to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. If you don’t spend in-store much, you can also use the card for making purchases online.
TreeCard sign-ups are open now and you will be placed in a queue where you can wait for your details to be checked and your card to be shipped. In its announcement, Ecosia said that if you register by December 1, your TreeCard debit card will be issued at launch.