Canadian Mint hires BCG to sell off MintChip digital currency

12 September 2014

The Boston Consulting Group has been hired by the Royal Canadian Mint to manage the divestiture of its MintChip digital currency. BCG will support the financial services firm with a suite of strategic and transactions support services – including the setup of a divestiture approach, target screening, and engaging with interested parties.

The Royal Canadian Mint is responsible for the production, distribution, and circulation of bills and coins in Canada. In addition, the Mint also produces and markets gold bullion and related refinery products and services – and has grown to be one of the largest mints in the world.

In 2012, the Mint launched its MintChip project, an in-house digital currency for purchases. MintChip – essentially a small Mint-issued memory card – keeps a balance for users and allows them to send and receive money or make purchases. According to the Mint, the digital currency provides a safe, efficient, and customer-friendly manner of handling transactions – and is particularly useful in the area of small purchases and online payments.

Canadian Mint hires BCG to sell off MintChip digital currency

The MintChip project – described by the Mint as an “evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic” – will not, in the end, be released by the Canadian crown corporation. In April of this year, the Mint’s management stopped the project’s development and announced that there would be a review of the currency’s future options.

Following an evaluation, management has decided to sell off MintChip, stating that at this point in its evolution, the program would be better off in the hands of a private sector firm. “The Mint's research and development efforts on MintChip have reached a stage where the project is ready to move to its natural next step of commercialization in the private sector,” explained Bob Zintel, Director of MintChip.

To support its divestment of MintChip, the company has brought in the expertise of management consultancy The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The consulting firm will assist the Mint in packaging MintChip’s assets, while also helping identify the best plan for attracting and engaging interested parties. “We believe BCG has the experience and expertise to help us maximize the return on investment in this program,” adds Zintel.

The Mint did not release how much it had spent on the MintChip program so far, nor how much it expected to recoup on the investment.


More than half of Canadians would share personal data with banks for discounts

09 April 2019

Over half of Canadian consumers are willing to share important personal data (location data, lifestyle info) with banks and insurers to receive lower pricing on products and services, a recent Accenture report found.

As part of Accenture’s global Financial Services Consumer Study, the consultancy surveyed 2,000 Canadians on their views around sharing personal information with financial services firms. With the increasing popularity of Big Data and analytics – and the massive opportunity for competition-smashing insights therein – companies want to know how to get consumers on board with data harvesting.

A majority of Canadian respondents said they would give banks and insurers some (location data) or a lot (lifestyle habits) of personal data for lower prices (59%), faster loan approvals (53%), location-based personalized offers (53%), and personalized services that help reduce injury risk (53%).

Nonetheless, 72% of Canadian consumers said that they are very cautious about the privacy of their personal data, with security breaches the second-largest concern that would make consumers leave their bank or insurance provider (price increases were number one).Consumers willing to share personal data in select scenarios

Banks and insurers, however, rank fairly high on consumer trust indexes – certainly higher than Facebook or Google – institutions for which consumer data is a major source of income. Banks ultimately make their money from money, and consumer data will help them make more of it. They also have more trust capital to work with than other organizations, which might have to offer significantly higher loyalty card-type incentives to get their hands on consumer data.

"Canadian consumers are willing to sharing their personal data in instances where it makes their lives easier but remain cautious of exactly how their information is being used," Robert Vokes, managing director of financial services at Accenture in Canada, said.

Globally, 64% of consumers were interested in adjusted car insurance premiums tied to safe driving, and 52% were interested in life insurance premiums tied to a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, 79% of Canadian consumers would give either income, location, or lifestyle habit data to their insurer for personal services and information that help reduce the risk of injury or loss.

In banking, 46% of Canadians said they would want their bank to provide savings tips based on their spending habits. As such, the avenue is open to source more consumer data, but financial services firms have to offer clear, tangible, and useful benefits to consumer in return.

Looking across the globe, cultural attitudes toward privacy maintained their standard variation, with only 40% of privacy-conscious Germans willing to share more data with banks and insurers for personalized services, while 67% of respondents in China were willing to share more data in return for personalized services.