Cash App Mezu, Of Cleveland, Launching Anonymous Payment Option

One-fourth to one-third of adults now use their mobile phones to make peer-to-peer payments, such as through Venmo or PayPal. But there’s one big drawback: To pay someone using these cash apps, you must exchange some sort of personal information so the payment can be sent.

But a new cash app called Mezu, created by a Cleveland company, is launching today. It requires no email or phone number or any other personal information to be exchanged when giving or getting money. Instead, the transaction is conducted with an encrypted four-digit code or by scanning a QR (quick response) code on the other person’s phone.

For example, someone can buy something from a stranger at a flea market using only a code. Or someone can give a tip to a valet or a bartender using only a code. The app, which is free, has a location function. Ideally, the sender and recipient are in close proximity if they don’t know each other.

Mezu is Hebrew for cash, and its creators say it fills a big void in the peer-to-peer payment space: Privacy and anonymity between people who are exchanging money.

Mezu was started by a couple of tech heavy-hitters, including a man whose last notable startup was bought by Oracle in 2014.

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