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Digital Economy:
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Startups that disrupt mobile payments industry

07 May 2018 00:00, UTC   |   38794
Startups that disrupt mobile payments industry
By Mia Zoss
The digitization in vanguard countries has reached genuinely breathtaking levels. New inventions and devices not only appear regularly, but they are spreading all over the world to become part of the daily human routine. However, in some regions there is still a desperate lack of the most common technologies. A striking fact is that 2 billion people do not have a bank account and are excluded from the financial activities. This trend is especially noticeable in the developing countries of the African region, in particular, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Popularity and crucial need in easy mobile financial services tools

Mobile money is claimed to be a solution for people that strive for financial inclusion. This technology has become revolutionary. According to Global Findex Report, the highest rates of unbanked people currently reside in Nigeria, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Colombia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

What is the point of this technology?

In a nutshell, this is the bank on your phone. Using mobile money services, you can pay bills, top up mobile and much more. Usually, mobile network operator initiates the implementation of such services. The technology allows receiving transfers from anywhere in the world. For example, after a disastrous earthquake in Haiti, mobile money initiatives launched by USAID have become truly vital for the well-being of the whole region!

A new stage in the development of mobile money is the symbiosis with block technology. The blockchain is a continuous sequence of blocks containing information about the whole system. For the first time, the term appeared as the name of an entirely replicated distributed database implemented in the Bitcoin system, which is why the block is often referred to as transactions in various cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin became the first application of blockchain technology in October 2008.

Several start-up companies have already implemented the use of the blockchain. Let's, therefore, delve into the TOP 5 promising startups in this area.

1. BitMinutes

BitMinutes implements the prepaid airtime token with an aim to provide low-cost financial services to those cut off from the banking infrastructure. BitMinutes are quite overambitious about their daring claims about replacing Bitcoin.

They probably have potential to serve as the favorite cryptocurrency for enabling global telecommunications providers, retail merchants, and agent network, but not on the worldwide scale. BitMinutes ICO has started recently, so let's see what this idea will flow into.

2. LaLa World

LALA World (“LALA”) focuses on migrants and their unbanked families. Shortly, that’s a sort of ecosystem, based on smart contracts embedded into transactions. This move is thought to help in simplifying complex processes associated with money transfers.

During the ICO campaign “LALA” have implicated that investors obtain a guaranteed percent ROI on invested sums. Sounds a bit odd, because it’s eliminating the risk factor so common to crypto industries. Unrealistic goals and bold claims without an economic plan or roadmap caused the rise of negative expert reviews.

3. Africunia

AFRICUNIA started an ICO claiming that the company is “in the process of implementing a crypto-based AFRICUNIA Protocol Consensus Algorithm (APCA)”. Despite this fact, after the end of campaign Africunia has a low social media and print media presence; moreover, the code repository is not presented publicly. Don’t you think that if the company is unwilling to release its code to public repositories such as Github, then one has a right to feel suspicious?

Let’s keep an eye on the project as far as beta version will be finished just in 3 days and maybe even after the reading this article you’ll be willing to apply for tests, they announced in their Roadmap.

4. Telcoin

The startup proposes to unite their efforts with telecom operators, claiming that any mobile phone user will be able to transfer money from their phone to someone else's device using only the phone number of the recipient. The CEO Claude Eguienta empathizes the need to bring value to the unbanked economies. After the epic roadshow, the company managed to list Tel coin at exchanges.

Converting a “mobile phone” into a crypto wallet is not unique. Despite the popularity of the trend the idea seems to be worth of realizing. Let’s keep an eye on how Telcoin project will evolve. At the moment it is only in the first stage of development and still hasn’t presented any working product.

5. Bank4YOU

Bank4YOU aims to provide a cryptocurrency solution for millions of subscribers of partnering mobile network operators. The company was scaling business during their ICO as it already has thousands of pre-paid cards customers, performing payments and e-commerce in EU.

Bank4YOU Group’s Mobile Money Transferring System is developed for unbanked people, urgently needing to withdraw funds in local currency via the mobile money service or mobile airtime services. Bank4YOU’s BEEFY ERC-20 token is successfully traded on crypto exchanges. Besides the MMRS system, Bank4YOU will lend users to purchase smartphones. The credit history will be transferred to the blockchain, where all information about the user will be protected cryptographically.

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