VICTORIA – The OneFeather APP is a ground-breaking Indigenous innovation offering a dedicated Indigenous banking solution for First Nations Peoples, Métis, and Inuit. Paired with the new contactless OneFeather PAY card and 1FTs (OneFeather Tokens), OneFeather continues to remove the systemic barriers Indigenous Peoples face.
In Canada, 15 per cent of the Indigenous population is not served by a bank. Furthermore, 44 per cent of Indigenous Peoples live on reserve, which makes it difficult for Nation members to access traditional financial institutions and government services.
“The launch of OneFeather APP couldn’t come at a better time”, says Lawrence Lewis, CEO and founder of OneFeather. “Indigenous communities, families, and young adults living on-reserve have been at a considerable disadvantage with banking accessibility and its associated costs.”
OneFeather is decolonizing the financial sector by offering a banking solution for Indigenous Peoples in Canada – whether they are on-reserve or off-reserve. The OneFeather APP enables users to link a pre-existing bank account to load their OneFeather PAY card. OneFeather APP is also a banking solution for urban dwellers, such as young adults who have traveled off-reserve to live, work, or attend post-secondary institutions. Cash gifts can be transferred between family members now while living allowances and tuition will be transferable from Nation bands through the APP in the future.
Creating a OneFeather account in the APP is easy – individuals verify their identity by submitting a selfie and providing additional information through the APP. With verification, users can obtain the OneFeather PAY card – a reloadable payment card that can be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted.
OneFeather PAY card also provides users with an Indigenous-only rewards system by allowing users to collect OneFeather Tokens (1FTs) – which can be collected through more ways than just transactions. Users will eventually be able to exchange 1FTs for a wide range of benefits, including status card renewal service fees and merchandise in a future digital Indigenous marketplace.
1FTs are transferable- Indigenous members can send their 1FTs to their Indigenous friends and family, who can exchange them for the same services and rewards. Everyone, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, can earn 1FTs, however, 1FTs can only be redeemed for and by Indigenous Peoples. Non-Indigenous people can transfer their 1FTs to Indigenous Peoples or donate them back to OneFeather.
The 1FT Rewards program is funded by the OneFeather Box of Treasures Foundation, a non-profit founded by OneFeather to give back to Indigenous communities. Every time a person uses their OneFeather PAY card, they are contributing to the OneFeather Box of Treasures. “The real measure of our wealth is not by what we keep, but what we give back,” said Lewis. “It is an extension of our culture in the fintech space.”
To celebrate the launch of the OneFeather APP, OneFeather is giving back to the Indigenous community. Lewis and OneFeather have committed to helping Maxwell Johnson and his granddaughter, who were arrested by police in a Vancouver Bank of Montreal while attempting to open a bank account in January 2020. In collaboration and funded by Indigenomics Institute and Raven Capital Partners, OneFeather will be gifting Johnson and his granddaughter pre-loaded OneFeather PAY cards and 1FTs for a scholarship and in honour of lived experience.
Additionally, OneFeather is partnering with Empowered Nations to provide seed funding for Indigenous entrepreneurial students and alumni in a pilot project, and giving away pre-loaded cards and 1FTs throughout promotions this summer.
OneFeather has worked in collaboration with BlocPal International Inc. in developing the OneFeather APP. BlocPal provides a “simple, fast, and secure digital transaction platform that allows anyone to transact in their currency or asset of choice.” BlocPal operates in India, Mexico, Canada, the U.S., and parts of Europe. BlocPal already works with over 50,000 retailers and provides services for millions of people.
OneFeather APP will soon be a one-stop-shop solution integrating OneFeather’s digital voting solution for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit elections and voting events, supporting Indigenous businesses, and offering online status card services, whereby First Nations members can renew, replace, or apply for their status card.