Search engine Ecosia has today revealed TreeCard, an eco-friendly wooden debit card that uses merchant transaction fees to plant trees.
TreeCard, scheduled to launch early 2021, is free for users and will dedicate 80% of its profits from interchange fees directly to reforestation initiatives. The announcement comes after Ecosia funded a seed round of $1m to support the eco-friendly fintech.
Christian Kroll, Ecosia CEO, said: “I’m thrilled that Ecosia users will have another way to contribute to the fight against the climate emergency with TreeCard. The searches made by Ecosia users have already funded the planting of over 110 million trees and improved habitats for endangered animals all over the world, while also helping to sequester thousands of tonnes of carbon each week.
“TreeCard is a new debit card with purpose and it will help us to plant even more trees in areas of the world that are being destroyed by climate change. Not only is TreeCard offering a product that addresses the issues we all have with the incumbent, traditional banks, but also commits wholeheartedly to fighting the climate crisis as well. We will soon be able to help fight climate change simply by buying a round of drinks in the pub or by doing the weekly shop.”
According to TreeCard, for every $60 (£45) spent with their new wooden debit card, the company will be able to plant and care for a tree to ensure it survives beyond three years in an area threatened by deforestation.
Ecosia and TreeCard
Ecosia will provide financial, commercial and marketing support to TreeCard. In return, Ecosia will receive a minority stake in the business.
Jamie Cox, TreeCard CEO, said: “The current crop of challenger banks haven’t really changed anything, aside from mildly improved customer services and the digitisation of some elements of the personal finance process, the players are just as profit hungry and eager to become an overbearing monopoly as legacy banks.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Ecosia, not just for the initial financial backing which has allowed us to get TreeCard up-and-running, but for the strategic partnership which will allow us to have access to credible, established tree planting partners, and the technological advice and support as we launch.”
He continued: “We’re looking forward to building TreeCard hand in hand with Ecosia. Working with Ecosia, we intend to make personal everyday banking an effortless but impactful way for our users to fight climate change.”
TreeCard aims to sign-up 100,000 users in the first six months, in an attempt to plant six million trees in its first year.