International travelers often wind up a handful of leftover foreign coins from their travel and no easy way to exchange them for their home currency.
Now a group of intrepid Israelis has solved that problem with an airport kiosk that turns spare foreign change into coffee money.
Travelers Box is the product of childhood friends Idan Deshe, Tomer Zussman, and Dror Blumenthal, serial innovators who found that their own coin jars overflowing with unwanted foreign currency.
So, they decided to create an ATM-like kiosk that would allow travelers to easily turn even small amounts of foreign currency into Starbucks cards, Paypal deposits, gift cards or even donations.
“The basic idea is that you can deposit any amount of leftover change. Even one cent,” Blumenthal told ISRAEL21c.
Blumenthal and his friends launched the first kiosk in Istanbul in 2013 and since has expanded to a number of airports, including Milan, Manila and Tel Aviv.
Their ultimate goal is to expand to even more airports and to branch out into an app that will link to duty-free purchases.
“The short-term goal for 2016 is to have about 200 boxes running and operating in the best locations we can,” Blumenthal said. “Our second goal is to finish the other product [the app] that is in development and announce it in a few months.”
So far, the Travelers Box team has partnered up with a number of international retailers including Gap, Staples, and Dominos Pizza to give their customers a customized range of options to choose from when they deposit their coins.
For those in a giving mood, the change can also be converted to a charity of their choosing.
“If you want to donate your money, you can choose from a range of different charity organizations and not only the ones on the airplanes,” Blumenthal said, noting that the Travelers Box gives users more ways to give back to charities in their own country and around the world.