The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

GFTD: a new technology app set to revitalize the way we give to others


Nina Guise-Gerrity, an affiliate professor of philosophy at Loyola University Maryland, was just like the rest of us – trying to navigate the tricky world of gift-giving in a growing technological age. There are endless amounts of choices, virtual transactions, and reimbursement apps. However, the feeling of a personal connection that gifts originally inspired can be lost among all the noise. 

GFTD, a fintech startup created by Guise-Gerrity, is focused on bringing back the culture of meaningful giving in the world. The act of gift-giving is streamlined through a refined process. 

First, users download the app to their phone, verifying their identity and bank account. Next, users can personalize their profiles, create personal wish lists, and connect with friends. 

One key aspect of GFTD is that users can view friends’ wish lists so they can learn exactly what their loved ones want and send it. Additionally, GFTD’s giving process can be customized with a variety of personal features, such as setting it up to be one time or recurring. The app also handles taxes and tips. 

Furthermore, GFTD allows users to add personal items to their wish lists that they can’t necessarily purchase on the internet. These personal items include things such as an afternoon of blueberry picking, a round of tennis lessons, charity donations, or even a specific type of coffee. 

According to the GFTD team, the magic of the app lies in its state-of-the-art embedded financial technology, called “Digital Wallet,” that allows customer-to-customer monetary transactions. Users can instantly match exact price points for a variety of goods, services, or even lifestyle experiences. GFTD also reminds users about special days such as upcoming birthdays or anniversaries through the calendar feature. 

The app has been in development since September 2018. Guise-Gerrity has recruited an all-female team of Loyola undergraduates to spearhead marketing, writing, communications, computer science, and creative content behind the app. 

Guise-Gerrity has stated before that she finds inspiration in the consistent drive, tenacity, and innovation the interns bring to the table, all while giving them the opportunity to apply their major-related skills to the company. On the eve of a launch, the team couldn’t be more ecstatic to bring this platform to fruition. 

Rachel Koller ‘20, a recent Loyola graduate with a communications degree, was one of the first interns to join Guise-Gerrity on this journey. She is currently in Loyola’s Emerging Leaders MBA Program while continuing to coordinate the brand development for GFTD. 

“Women empower women and our female mentor, Nina, has taught us invaluable lessons and equipped us with the necessary tools to make a difference in the world,” Koller said. 

Katie Detwiler ‘22, a business major with a minor on the innovation and entrepreneurship track who is supporting GFTD on marketing, finds value in the convenience of the multi-layered digital transactions. 

“The app is more than just passing along money from one person to the next. It adds a special connection along with it,” Detwiler said. “I could send a coffee to my friend who goes to school in Florida one day. I love to do nice, little things like this, and the app finally allows me the opportunity to do so.”

Hannah Schaub ‘22, an interdisciplinary studio arts and communications major and entrepreneurship track minor who is running the social media channels for GFTD, finds the culture of the app unique. 

“All apps and social media and online presences are about competing with others to show what you have, but at GFTD we are creating a culture of giving to others and even ourselves, which is something no other app does the way GFTD can,” Schaub said. 

Elizabeth Delfeld ‘21, an interdisciplinary psychology and writing major handling the writing and content creation for GFTD, discussed the inherent joy created by the app. 

“My favorite part about GFTD is the versatility of its different functions,” Delfeld said. “It will connect people in new ways and spread joy through expanding gift giving to make it an everyday occurrence.”

Christina Lutton ‘22, a computer science and political science major researching domains and APIs for GFTD, said that, “In the [GFTD] app, a wish list app, a money transfer app, a calendar, and social media are all connected and combined.” 

Lutton also discussed GFTD’s competitive edge compared to other apps on the market. 

“I love the idea that it is about giving someone a gift, rather than receiving a payment or reimbursement like Venmo. There’s no need any more to ask, ‘What do you want for X holiday?’ or ‘What size do you need?’ because it’s all there,” Lutton said.

Jennifer Moutenot ‘20, a recent graduate of Loyola with a computer science degree, reflected on her time with GFTD and the security of online banking within the app. 

“GFTD is competing at the top of the fintech world as it offers the latest and greatest security when it comes to connecting with your mobile banking, offering modern approaches towards security. With the growth of businesses and data being moved more and more online, this piece of the app protects its users first,” Moutenot said.

According to the team, GFTD is not only set to disrupt the finance and credit card industry, but it is molding young leaders out of its intern team as they take on active roles in their community. 

“We must instill confidence in women that they too, can break the glass ceiling of gender norms, especially in the STEM world, as it is a predominantly male-driven field. It is important for young women in our community to see women and girls, just like them, to have aspirations of being entrepreneurs, accomplishing their dreams, and succeeding,” Moutenot said. 

One challenge has been planning the impending launch during COVID-19. Still, the pandemic hasn’t stopped the team from staying on track. 

“The silver lining in this is that the app is meant for situations like these. In times we can’t be together, we can spread happiness through GFTing one another virtually” Koller said.

The GFTD app is set to launch to the app store, available for both Apple and Android users, in Fall 2020. To learn more, visit

Featured Image courtesy of Jenna Granato

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
GFTD: a new technology app set to revitalize the way we give to others