The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Richard Drew

The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Richard Drew

Wealthsimple Cash becomes first Canadian service integrated into Twitter’s Tip Jar

Tip Jar, which launched in May, is still in beta mode

TORONTO — Twitter users sending each other money have a new — and Canadian — way of making the transfer.

The San Francisco, Calif.-based social media platform announced Thursday that its Tip Jar is now handling payments made through Wealthsimple Cash accounts.

Wealthsimple, a Toronto-based company offering robo-adviser, investment, stock trading, saving and cryptocurrency services, is the first Canadian company whose products Twitter has integrated with its Tip Jar, a feature on its platform allowing users to send money to each other.

Tip Jar, which launched in May but is still in beta mode, already operates with U.S.-based PayPal, Venmo, Bandcamp, Patreon and Square’s Cash App.

Twitter says it wanted to add peer-to-peer money transfer service Wealthsimple Cash to the roster because the companies share an interest in innovating and making online transactions hassle-free.

“They’re one of the leading Canadian fintech firms and so when….we look at them, they’re just a natural partner to try something like this with,” said Paul Burns, managing director of Twitter’s Canadian operations.

The TipJar and its Wealthsimple Cash integration builds on years of people adding Patreon or GoFundMe links to their Twitter bio or mentioning them in tweets in an effort to drum up support from fans of their work or those willing to donate toward a cause.

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified those habits as many people rethought how they use cash and looked for ways to seek or provide financial support online, said Wealthsimple chief executive Michael Katchen.

He said the Twitter partnership made sense because the company’s ethos has long focused on making financial transactions easy.

“E-transfers, which are the way that Canadians have historically sent money to one another, are clunky and outdated, and we have tried to just totally reinvent the experience of sending someone money to make it delightful and simple and fast,” he said.

Twitter users can send money through Tip Jar by looking for a bills button on the profile page of their desired recipient. If a user has enabled the Tip Jar and transfers with Wealthsimple Cash, it will take only a few clicks to send over money.

In keeping with its goal of making financial transactions less burdensome, Wealthsimple will not charge fees on transfers made through Tip Jar.

Twitter also won’t apply any charges or take a cut of money sent, but Burns said the integration fits into the company’s recent efforts to bring more monetization features to Twitter.

Those efforts come as Canada’s federal government has tried to advance legislation to require social networks to pay taxes and remove hateful content and Apple forced apps to have consent from users before tracking them across apps in recent months.

Twitter has responded by breathing new life into its platform. It recently decluttered timelines with a new look, introduced a font called Chirp, debuted its first subscription product Twitter Blue in Canada and launched its live audio offering Spaces and the Tip Jar.

Meanwhile, Wealthsimple launched Cash late last year as part of a move toward becoming a full-service financial company and expand its userbase even further.

Those efforts earned the company $750 million in financing from 15 venture capital firms and rapper Drake, actors Ryan Reynolds and Michael J. Fox, NBA players Kelly Olynyk and Dwight Powell and NHL all-star Patrick Marleau earlier this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 19, 2021.

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