Financial Inclusion Can Be Not Just a Charity but Business

It’s obvious to me that the existing banking rules leave a huge part of the population with no bank accounts or credit rates outside of lending and other financial services. Meanwhile, the unbanked people are a promising target audience that includes about 2 billion people all over the world, with a high demand for loans, mortgages, bank accounts, bank cards, deposits, ready to be involved and eager to start consumption in order to improve their lives. I know it for sure because of our company MicroMoney, a global fintech blockchain project and a lending services provider, works with them very closely for the last 2 years. Instead of banks we are providing them with services they want and are seeing how profitable and far-reaching they are.

No doubts that banks have to secure themselves but this way they are forced to cancel financial services availability for people who cannot confirm their creditworthiness. The risks are too high so banks lose the part of their target clients and possible margins. The main problem the emerging markets face now is how to find the tool to convert unbanked into banked that will satisfy both sides.

And, probably, we discovered it in mobile and neural networks technologies. MicroMoney has found a way to turn a common mobile phone into an accurate system which can provide much more confidential and full information about the clients than they would do themselves. MicroMoney helps the unbanked people in South-East Asia to be included in the financial system and assesses the potential client’s score rate by relying on data collected from the mobile phone. So a customer receives not only a loan application for completing, followed by approval on a mobile app within several minutes but also his or her first credit rate ever to apply even for traditional banking services now.

From a lender’s side, the process is as follows: the Big Data platform gathers all the data received from the phone, processes them through neural networks, analyses the result and approves or disapproves the loan automatically. However, the most interesting thing for banks, financial and insurance companies is that a client may allow sharing his or her data with these companies. In this case, the business gains the database of reliable, already accessed customers, ready to receive offers and to use the services suggested. How do we know it? Each of our clients took 4.5 loans average, and 7% of borrowers got more than ten loans with us. The conversion of the first loan into the second one is quite high – 73%, so, yes, we are sure they are ready and even eager for offers helping them to live better.

Despite the fact that MicroMoney is a successful and mature business, the company’s mission to fight against financial exclusion for the unbanked is essentially charitable, since it allows 2 billion of people all over the world to receive medical aid and education and to improve their lives. I hope our company is a showcase reflecting how businesses staying profitable can help others.

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Financial inclusion is not a topic most developing countries in the world can deal with right now. In some regions, very few people have convenient access to a bank account. However, thanks to the boom in mobile smart devices, financial inclusion becomes easier to achieve. In fact, the countries focusing on these efforts are also seeing a significant Bitcoin growth as of late.

Financial Inclusion Matters To Many Countries

According to the statistics outlined on The Finanser, quite a few developing countries are scoring well on the financial inclusion front. While there is still a lot of work to be done, things are looking healthy in most regions. Egypt is the only “major” developing country where difficult regulation and less mobile capacity are hindering growth right now.

At the top of the list is Kenya, a country where Bitcoin and mobile payments are thriving. With a high level of mobile capacity and an easy-going regulatory landscape, financial inclusion is on the rise. A score of 84% is quite good, albeit there is still work to be done. Colombia and Brazil complete the three, although adoption of new financial technologies is relatively low in those regions.

As is to be expected, regulation has somewhat of an effect on financial inclusion. To put things into perspective, a difficult regulatory landscape can still yield high rates of adoption, such as the Dominican Republic. Easy-going regulators are no guarantee for success, though. The Philippines has one of the “best’ regulatory frameworks for financial inclusion, yet only 42% adoption rate of new technologies.

It is good to see so many countries being fully committed to financial inclusion. Uganda, India, Pakistan, and Peru are just a few of the regions dedicating a lot of effort to this initiative. For now, several countries are held back due to their mobile capacity. Egypt, Ethiopia, and Peru still have their work cut out for them in this department.

Bitcoin Thrives In The Same Regions

However, it is important to keep in mind financial inclusion comes in different forms. Having access to a bank account, or mobile financial services, is just one option. Bitcoin, while still a niche market according to most, provides financial inclusion as well. Granted, it has no ties with the traditional financial infrastructure, but that is one of its strong suits. Being able to send and receive money, without having to visit physical locations, is important to a lot of people. Bitcoin provides that option to anyone who wants to take it.

It is not surprising most of the countries seeing success in the financial inclusion department are busy areas for Bitcoin as well. Diversification is important during these uncertain economic times. Putting all one’s eggs in the same basket is not a wise strategy. That goes for developed and developing countries alike.

Source: The Finanser

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

Even though there has been a significant increase in mobile device usage among residents of India, mobile banking will not be coming anytime soon. The country has plans to improve financial inclusion through a new set of mobile banking services. Unfortunately for them, that project failed miserably. This leaves the door wide open for Bitcoin adoption in the country, as cryptocurrency allows anyone to be their own bank.

Mobile Banking In India Is Not A Success

It has to be said, the plan by the Indian government seemed very solid on paper. In an attempt to recreate the success of M-Pesa-like services in India, the infrastructure was built to provide basic mobile banking services in the country. After many years of hard work and planning, the experiment seemed ready for take-off.

However, things took a turn for the worse, as the average consumer on the street was not all that interested. The government expected a rapid growth of the user base for this mobile banking initiative. However, since launching in August 2014, there has been far less interest in this initiative than projected.

This may seem rather strange, considering India’s billion mobile device users. Since access to basic financial services in rural areas is a struggle, this project could have filled the gap. Government officials believed they held all of the trump cards to make this project a success. But even the best efforts can fall flat sometimes.

As of May 2016, a total of 3.7 million mobile transactions were recorded since the launch nearly two years prior. That number is incredibly disappointing, although it is not difficult to see where things went wrong. One hurdle is how maintaining this service is very expensive, and those costs are passed on to the consumer. The fees for this mobile banking initiative are higher than sending an SMS or a one-minute voice call.

But there is more, as getting acquainted with this new initiative is very cumbersome. Additionally, users can only take five steps during a session, which only provides a very brief window of financial inclusion. The benefits do not outweigh the costs, and that situation needs to be addressed soon.

A Golden Opportunity for Bitcoin

The failure of this mobile banking project is a golden opportunity for Bitcoin in India, though. Consumers looking for financial inclusion don’t need to look further than cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is a global currency, that has no relationship to banks or governments, and comes with a fixed supply of 21 million coins.

Furthermore, users can be their own bank when dealing with cryptocurrency. Every user has full control over the funds, which can be accessed through their mobile device at any given time. In fact, Bitcoin is the only mobile banking solution to achieve global financial inclusion.

Source: Government of India

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

According to a recent press release, central banks are working on issuing digital cash to counter the rising Bitcoin. A philanthropic investment firm—Omidyar Network—today announced its investment in eCurrency Mint, a relatively unknown start-up developing a technology that enables central banks to issue their digital fiat currency called eCurrency.

According to a WSJ report, founder and chief executive of eCM, Jonathan Dharmapalan, said that the start-up has held meeting with over 30 central banks, of which two have agreed to issue the digital currency. eCurrency will have the same legal and monetary status as notes and coins.

Tilman Ehrbeck, partner at Omidyar Network, said: “eCurrency can help accelerate financial inclusion by turning today’s digital value systems into sovereign-backed national currencies, increasing trust and addressing key issues currently hindering the adoption of digital value systems (such as interoperability).

Economic Benefits

The press release states that eCurrency will provide savings benefits to both governments and taxpayers: the process of minting and distributing the digital currency is expected to cost one-tenth of the total cost of printing, securing, distributing and destroying paper money.

Research conducted by Citigroup and Imperial College has suggested that even a 10% growth in the adoption of digital money across 90 countries can lead to $150 billion of additional consumer spending and a whopping $100 billion more in tax collections.

The backing of central banks will provide much-needed confidence in using the digital money. A big chunk of the global population still prefers traditional methods of payment such as cash and credit cards. The concerns related to security and interoperability are also expected to be alleviated following the issuance by the central banks.

We all knew this was coming for Bitcoin. After all, not all central governments are keen to let Bitcoin become the prominent global cryptocurrency. But will it really affect Bitcoin? Let time be the judge of this.


USA based tech start-up and digital currency industry pioneer NUSPAY International Incorporated has announced the appointment of veteran Greg Wooten as its Chairman and also the global CEO.

The company’s appointment of Wooten is a testament to his leadership qualities which the President of NUSPAY MD Abul Mansur himself underlined by strongly expressing hope that the appointment will lead to ‘solidifying success’ for the company.

The move comes at a time when the digital currency market is avowedly going to see major changes in the coming days and is bound to become more aggressive as major countries like Japan, European nations like Germany and the USA are trying to put more tabs on the transactions done via it. Therefore, it makes Wooten’s appointment a good and calculative move that will help NUSPAY play a more assertive role in the digital currency market in the coming days.

With more than 30 years of successful career and being recognized by industry stalwarts as the name to reckon with, Greg Wooten’s appointment is widely being seen as the commitment of NUSPAY in delivering the next generation tokenized and safe global payments network.

In his statement after his appointment Wooten emphasized that “NUSPAY has a substantial opportunity to address conventional payment acceptance friction, payment data security, alternative and digital currency acceptance and financial inclusion in the worldwide banking systems.”

He also said that not only is he happy to take up the job but also felt that the time was conducive for investing in this digital currency framework,  network and infrastructure and also in the banking system technologies.

NUSPAY at present also runs innovation laboratories in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Hyderabad, India and vows to work on protecting consumer information and data pertaining to the digital currencies. In the future, NUSPAY plans to work towards easing out not only the credit and debit card transactions but other forms of digital currency as well.


Bitcoins are becoming a strong contender in the last mile finance space.

I would like to begin this article with this brave claim. And prove along the article, as to why this is true.

The Chief Information Officer of Western Union, Mr.John Thomson recently expressed his opinion on Bitcoins, on the Internet. Here is an important quote;

“Bitcoin as a technology doesn’t solve any problems for us in the core of our business. Our challenge is the last mile. How do I get that money in the person’s hand, and meet all the regulatory compliance needs in that country? So, I don’t really need it for the minimum. Moving a bit from Point A to Point B isn’t hard. The last mile is really hard.”

The Last Mile Finance Challenge

Solving Last Mile Finance Inclusion with Bitcoins
How to Bank the UnBanked?

I completely agree with Mr.John Thomson, because Bitcoin as a technology cannot fill a void in their current model of business. There is no void for Western Union yet, to fill with Bitcoin technology. The models are just… not made for each other.

Taking the money to the last person, at the right time, within the legal boundaries, seems to be the challenge of the finance industry. Especially when financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid is important. More often than not, when there is a problem, there arises a solution(s). And Solutions did arise.

In the last three years, the successful cases of innovation in the last mile financial inclusion space are these two companies. They have achieved what banks with big bucks and governments with political will, could never achieve. They achieved in moving money to the last mile; safely, easily and on time.

These two technology companies, have enabled services similar to that of a bank, only difference being — these mobile based technologies were enabled in areas where conventional banking system never could penetrate. For instance, mPesa in Kenya has managed to penetrate 70% of the market with their service. In Pakistan, Easypaisa, has enabled phone bill payments and similar microfinancial transactions. EasyPaisa, has penetrated more than 50% of the market share. Just note that: Bank penetration in Pakistan is a measly 12%.

These are just two examples of what simplification of technology can do for the financial inclusion. Especially in the developing and under-developed economies.

Simplicity is the Key to last Mile  Finance

Bitcoins are becoming a strong contender is the last mile financial transaction arena. The recent post on NewBTC, about ChangeTip, a San Francisco based company, is a good example of its last mile finance potential. There is no doubt as to why Bitcoins can not be a practical solution to solve this last mile finance problem. If the transaction involves anything less that $10, and can be powered with mobile based solutions, much like ChangeTip — we could potentially solve this problem.

Why Solve the Last Mile Problem with Bitcoins? Of all?

Bitcoins, as we all know and acknowledge, is a de-centralised currency. This is the best part. We are enabling the people in the democracies to take control of their money. Such peer-to-peer financial transactions can simply be monitored on a more than $500 level, this would ensure that the system is not being misused. Also, this would take the burden off the governments and banks to handle a transaction as small as $10. That’s why it makes sense.