This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.
What is FOOi?
I had a chance to do a FOOi app review. But what is FOOi?
FOOi is pronounced “Fuu-eeee” or “Phooey” and it is the Dutch word for “tip”.
FOOi is a new fintech company that launched in Canada in April 2018 from Toronto, Ontario and has three features. The first feature is that FOOi does Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments. The second feature is that you can tip people with FOOi. Finally, the third feature is that you can donate anytime (24/7) to charities with FOOi and receive a tax receipt right away provided that your donation is above $20.00 CAD and you fill in all your details.
FOOi is, at its essence, a digital wallet.
At first, when I thought of Peer-to-Peer Payments, I thought of Peer-to-Peer Lending or something like that. This is actually more similar to Venmo or Zelle in the United States (according to USA Today, they are two of the top 3 Mobile Peer-To-Peer Payment options in the United States). More and more people are carrying less cash on hand and using credit card transactions or using mobile payments. Basically, FOOi is like Venmo in Canada or Zelle in Canada.
How Does FOOi Work?
First, you can download the FOOi App on Android Play or Apple App Store. Then you have to enable location services and Bluetooth. To find a friend to send money to, just look for their name/ nickname (note, they must have a FOOi account but soon will be able to send money by SMS). You can also broadcast your profile to a friend nearby so that they can find you more easily. Then you just click send and you can type in the amount of money you want to send.
Here’s what a screenshot of FOOi looks like when you are sending money. You just press “Give” and then you’re set, the money is transferred.
Here is what the home screen/ account page looks like. You can sign up for notifications and you’ll get a notification when you get money. You get a running list of your history of send and receives on FOOi. You can see here that I got $5.00 and sent back $1.00.
The Best Part of FOOi
As you know, I use the Payback App when traveling with friends or when splitting bills with friends. It evens out the bill and then you know how much your friend owes you and how much you owe your friend.
The problem with this though is receiving your payment from your friend, lol!
Sometimes I wait weeks to get payment from my friend and then there’s the awkward text I have to send like “hey do you remember you owe me money still?”
With FOOi, you can pay your friends back immediately even if you don’t have cash on hand. So saying “Oh I can Interac e-Transfer® you later” will be the thing of the past. Your friends won’t have an excuse when you pay the bill at the restaurant and they say they don’t have cash on hand.
Being a very non-confrontational individual, I have trouble asking my friends for money back especially if they don’t take the onus to pay me back right away. I know they forget and they mean to pay me back, but sometimes I also forget to remind them! I also don’t love paying the Interac e-Transfer® fee of $2.50 or so every time I pay a friend back. Who does, really?
Also, you don’t have to ask a question or get an email to send money unlike with Interac e-Transfer® (as long as the other person has FOOi). This makes it easy to send money to your loved ones (especially if they are insistent on not accepting any money!). With FOOi they have no choice, lol! So if you are a Boomer Mom or Dad who wants to send your millennial children money from time to time, you can!
How Much Does Fooi Cost?
Well, FOOi is free technically. To load the app with money is free. To send cash to another FOOi member is free. You can send $5 to your friend on FOOi and your friend can send $4 back another day to you, and you can send $6 back one week later to your friend, and there is no cost whatsoever.
The only fee occurs when you withdraw money into your bank account. The fee to withdraw money into your bank account with direct deposit is 4.99%.
In order to withdraw money from your FOOi account, you need to have a minimum withdrawal amount of $20.00 CAD. It is a $1.00 processing fee to withdraw $20.00.
How Does FOOi Make Money?
I was curious how FOOi makes money. There are two ways that FOOi makes money. The first way is through the 4.99% withdrawal to the bank account fee. The second way is with the money that is held in your FOOi app. It is held in a trust and invested in a safe manner.
Is FOOi Safe?
The most important thing about this FOOi app review is reviewing safety and security. FOOi is safe. It protects your private data and protects everyone involved with FOOi. Every transaction is checked thoroughly. In addition, you don’t need to give your credit card info when using FOOi- only upon initial load. You can fund FOOi using Paypal, Apple Pay, credit card, or a credit debit card.
Here are the Pros and Cons of FOOi I found in this FOOi app review:
- “I’ll get you back next time” will be a thing of the past… you can pay back your friends at the moment, right away. With our busy schedules and lives, it can be so difficult to remember to pay someone back, even though you mean to!
- If you don’t have cash on hand you don’t have to worry.
- You don’t have to use passwords or cryptic questions like with Interac e-Transfer® to send money to your friends or family
- You don’t have to pay a fee each time you transfer money to a friend or receive money
- You can tip more easily especially if you don’t have cash (or have enough cash) on hand
- There are good ratings on both iOS and Google Play (4.6 rating on Google Play)
- The fee to withdraw to your bank account via direct deposit is high, it is 4.99%. So on a $50 withdrawal, that works out to be around $2.50. It does still beat the Interac e-Transfer® fees especially if you are sending money regularly to your friends and you owe them money.
- The person you want to send money to will need to have the FOOi app downloaded (Note: In a future version of FOOi you will be able to send money by SMS)
- Apparently, for merchants and fundraisers, a beacon can be mailed to you from FOOi if you do not have a smartphone or an iPad (e.g. servers who are too busy to pull out their phone to receive your tip money). To get a beacon, you will have to contact the FOOi team for more details.
Here is where you can download FOOi:
Android Play or the Apple App Store
Hope you enjoyed this FOOi app review.
Have you tried FOOi?
What do you think? How do you usually pay your friends or family back when you don’t have cash on hand?
The FOOi giveaway is now closed!
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
12 thoughts on “Fooi App Review: Peer-to-Peer Payments in Canada”
Sounds pretty cool. I used to use a free function with my bank called “People Pay” to send money by using the recipients email account direct from my checking. I think People Pay was recently discontinued so I need a new tool. So this post is very timely. Thanks for putting it together! Tom
@Tom- This tool is only available in Canada, sorry Tom! Yeah, FOOi is pretty cool. I need to start asking my friends to download it so that I can pay them back and we can split bills more easily. These days restaurants are more accommodating with splitting bills (even splitting our friend’s meal by 6 portions so we could treat her for dinner for her birthday) but at places that might not be, this is a great tool.
Hi GYM, never heard of this name before.
I use Interac transfers, all I need is their email and agree on a password. Free with my bank.
@Caroline- That’s so awesome that your Interac transfers are free. I think my banking package used to have 2 free e-transfers which was handy but then they took it away.
Can FOOi send money to a Paypal account?
@Jade- Hi Jade great question. You can fund FOOi with Paypal but at present time you can’t withdraw money to Paypal.
Thank you! Is withdrawing directly to your bank account the only way to take money out of the app, then?
@Anon- Yes, from my understanding it is. But you can send unlimited money back and forth and back and forth to your friends until you need to withdraw it, then it is 4.99%.
Is it possible to load a FOOI not necessary from credit card or PayPal from another country to a friends FOOi account.
@James- I am not clear on your question, but if it is outside of Canada, I would contact FOOi directly and ask.
When funding/depositing into FOOi by using credit card directly or via paypal but still using credit card; is there any chance of being billed as cash advance ? 2nd thing are the 3 – amex,mc and visa supported ?
@Mathew- Fooi accepts: Master Card, Visa and American Express. I don’t believe they will bill as cash advance, it should be free/ considered a regular purchase. I know TransferWise (using a credit card) is considered a cash advance.