Meet Luigi Vitale, from Italy, who accidentally connected all of his relatives in iCard after a dramatic experience he had with his money.
He got in touch with us to request one of our limited edition NFC wearables that we give out to people who refer family or friends to iCard.
As you may know, we constantly listen to our users’ feedback to continually improve iCard and give you a perfect personal money app.
And in the process, we get the chance to talk to people and hear their stories – in this case, Luigi’s emigration story.
Economy and emigration in Italy
About 10% of the Italian-born people live abroad.
Financial Times reports that 77% of them are young professionals – 18-34 years old.
The majority of them have a good education, but local economy presents a little opportunity, thus making them move on with looking for prosperity abroad.
Luigi is from the Calabria region in South of Italy.
His home country is strongly divided – economically strong north with lots of job opportunities vs less-industrial south, focused mostly on tourism.
Like many other young Italians, Luigi chooses emigration as a path to better living.
He moves to London and along he brings his money habits.
The risks and costs of handling cash
About 2 years ago, right after graduating with a Master degree in statistics, Luigi moves to the UK and manages to get his first job as an accountant.
A year later, Luigi makes a career move and starts off as a statistician at an international financial company at Canary Wharf, London.
All this time, he gets his salary paid to his bank account and then withdraws it at ATMs to pay out in cash.
Back home, Luigi was used to paying out like this but in London, he got accustomed to visiting a particular bank branch and send out transfers to support his mother and younger brother and sister back home.
By the way, Luigi shared that it took him over a month to open up a bank account – to find the right back and the right employee, who would agree to him having an account as a foreigner with no permanent address in the UK.
And even if London is a city where contactless payments took over cash, Luigi was finding no reason to withdraw from his payment habits, until a dramatic situation struck him.
He got robbed on the street, the evening before he normally pays his rent and sends money home on the same bank visit.
With no other options, Luigi asks his best friend for a loan, to sort out the situation and be there for his dependents.
This is how he finds out about our company.
How can you protect your money?
Luigi’s best friend, also his colleague, is from Bulgaria (iCard’s home) and this fact made it even easier to relate to the situation.
Just like the Italians, a lot of Bulgarians chose to emigrate and support their relatives by sending money home.
Luigi learns about iCard from his friend, who also sends money home to his mother, but instantly and for free (alongside all the other cool features that intrigue people, who are looking for a bank account alternative).
After the revelation, our protagonist immediately takes measures to protect his money, installs iCard and quickly moves on to what matters the most – to be there when his closest people need him, no matter the long distance.
How iCard connects families?
Luigi immediately calls his 16-years-old brother and instructs him how to help their mother with opening an iCard account from her mobile phone.
As the only man in the family, and to keep control of family money, Luigi orders 2 additional iCard debit cards for his brother and sister, so he can personally distribute their weekly pocket money.
His mother welcomes the innovation because this way she worries less, and her new digital wallet is saving money for her family.
Soon enough, Luigi gets his first GiftCard – a present from one of his cousins, who lives in Germany, and who discovered iCard through his brother, who learned about it from his aunt (Luigi’s mom).
Our protagonist immediately checks iCard messenger to see who else from the “Famiglia” is on and the discovery prompts laughter and places a long-term smile on his face.
He knows how his family operates – they start calling each other right after they discover something that has to be shared.
This is how Luigi, although not fully intentionally, manages to make all his relatives closer to each other.
We were glad to see a happy family and we sent one of our NFC wearables to Luigi.
Do you still take regular walks to your old bank?
Are you still risking all your cash by keeping it in your pockets?