So, how DOES it work?
Circles helps you find the card you’re looking for among your close friends and family. You can form your Circle of people you trust and then discover and share cards within this Circle or your friends' Circles. Currently, we restrict the number of people you can add in your Circle to 10 but we search for cardholders in each of your friends' Circles as well.
Do I need a credit/debit card to use Circles?
Absolutely not. There are no restrictions for users while signing up. You can sign up with as many cards as you like. If you sign up with no cards you can still discover people in your Circle and your friend’s circle who have the card you're after.
How do I search who has the card?
Head over to the Circle screen on your app. Click on “Find the card you’re after”, which directs you to a new screen. On this screen, enter the name of the card you’re looking for in the search bar. If there is someone in your Circle or your friends’ Circles who carries the card, we will display those cardholders in the results.
How do I request to use a card?
Once you’ve identified a cardholder, you will be able to see a “Request” option on their cards. Clicking on the “Request” option opens a popup on which you’ll be prompted to enter the amount for the purchase you’re going to use the card for as well as a short description of the purchase to give the cardholder some context.
Once you enter the details and send the request, the cardholder will be notified of your request. The cardholder can then accept or decline the request. Once the request is accepted, an end-to-end encrypted chat opens up for the cardholder to share details with you. The messages are encrypted in such a way that only the sender and recipient can see them, and no one else, not even Circles, can read these messages. Moreover, all messages self-destruct in 10 minutes.
Who can I add in my circle?
Your Circle is entirely in your control so you can add whoever you'd like to. However, we recommend adding only those with whom you're comfortable sharing your credit or debit cards with. In most cases, these include your close friends, family, roommates, colleagues etc.
Why is the number of people in a Circle capped at 10?
Before working on Circles, we spent a lot of time talking to people about their preferred approach when sharing cards. We found that most people who share their cards tend to do so with up to around 10 friends. We wanted to bring that behavior on to our platform by maintaining the same boundary.
How are the card details shared?
Once a request for a card is accepted by a cardholder, an encrypted chat window opens up in which the cardholder can choose to share the card details. Messages in the chat are end-to-end encrypted and self-destruct in around 10 minutes. Due to this encryption, no one other than the cardholder and the requester can read the messages, not even Circles.
Tell me more about the encryption.
In order to make sure sensitive details are never leaked, we never store the messages in chat window in plain text. We use Virgil Security (https://virgilsecurity.com/) to assign each user in Circles a public and private key. The messages between users in the chat window are encrypted/decrypted using these keys so that no one other than the sender and recipient can read the messages. Any third party attempting to access these messages will only see a tokenized text which cannot be decrypted without the private key of the message recipient. In addition, messages are set to be deleted in about 10 minutes after being sent, so even the encrypted information is not stored for longer than 10 minutes.
How is my data used?
At Circles, our sole focus is on making discovering and sharing of cards as simple and secure as possible. We do not intend to trade or sell your data to any third party. In fact, we strive to have as little access to your data as possible.
Having felt disappointed when using services that sell user data to third party platforms, we understand the importance of controlling your own data and that’s why we loathe to be in the business of monetizing your data.
What do I do if I can't find any cardholders?
Firstly, sorry about that. If no one in your Circle or your friends’ Circles is carrying the card you're looking for, then we suggest expanding your Circle to improve your chances of finding a cardholder. We’re on this all day, all week so we’ll soon surface more options for this scenario.
What if someone takes a screenshot of my card?
We do plan to introduce a screenshot blocker in the chat window very soon. However, we believe our model of forming a small, trusted Circle helps avert this problem as you’re in touch with someone you know and trust and would not expect them to screenshot your card and use it without consent.
How does Circles ensure that someone is not impersonating?
At the time of signing up, we verify the phone numbers of the users. This is done to help users identify others using the phone numbers. If a user wishes to confirm the identity of other users, he/she can tally the phone number that appears on the profile of the latter to the one in their Contacts.