Investment

As global uncertainty rises, a gold-based payment platform is launched

Glint, a gold-based payments platform backed by a posse of wealthy investors, is better placed than most to win business on the back of current uncertainty.

At the end of February, South African gold mining company Sibanye-Stillwater agreed to help finance the business by becoming an investor.

The service has the potential to appeal to family offices as a way to turn overlooked bank deposits into gold…

The UK-based business, founded by e-commerce veteran Jason Cozens, provides clients with Mastercard debit cards that convert their cash into gold to pay their bills or use as a hedge against inflation and currency weakness.

The idea is simple, although the proprietary technology behind it is more complex. The service has the potential to appeal to family offices as a way to turn overlooked bank deposits into gold, even where they are happy enough to use bullion, jewellery or gold ETFs as core assets.   

Gold held on behalf of clients is kept in vaults run by Brinks. Funds are safeguarded by Lloyds Bank in the UK and Sutton Bank in the US. Every currency exchange into, or out of, gold makes Glint 0.5% in revenue. 

The company is actively seeking affluent investors and business clients. It says: “Glint makes it easier for treasurers to manage currency risk and hedge foreign currency risk and hedge foreign exposures with gold as a hedging currency.” 

An app allows clients to transfer funds, and gold, to third parties. Glint wants to create a global gold-based payments system. It has put together an effective marketing campaign to drive home its message.

Its advisory board has Sir John Hegarty, an advertising man renowned for creating Audi’s ‘Vorsprung Durch Technik” slogan. Craig Dewar founded Global Processing Services, which powers Mastercard and Visa payment systems at challenger banks like Monzo and Revolut.  Glint’s executive team has credentials in tech and e-commerce.

Around 150 individuals and companies are investors – all mostly in the UK. They include hedge fund manager Hugh Sloane; financial adviser Lord Howard Flight; Oliver Bolitho, ex-Goldman Sachs; Haruko Fukuda, former World Gold Council chief executive, Nicholas Silitch, chief risk officer at Prudential Financial; Sir Peter Michael, the man behind Classic FM, and the Fung family of Hong Kong.

As well as Sibanye-Stillwater, corporate investors include precious metals manager Sprott, the Tokyo Commodities Exchange and NEC of Japan. The UK government’s Futures Fund has provided finance.

The US dollar has lost 85% of its value over the last fifty years. Current inflation of 7.5% could speed its decline, along with uncertainty over the war in Ukraine. According to Cozens, clients have hiked the gold they are keeping in their accounts by 30% since US inflation started rising.

 

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