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Have you heard of the unbanked? According to The World Bank, “Globally, about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked—without an account at a financial institution or through a mobile money provider.”
Even doing something as simple as paying a water or gas bill can be very time consuming and stressful for the unbanked, especially if the region they live in is politically unstable. To illustrate, a person without a bank account would typically pay a utility bill in a number of ways:
- They could pay for their bill by sending a money order, or;
- They may wait in a large queue to pay their bill with cash, or;
- They could pay their bill via a utility company app, but the majority of utility companies operating in developing nations don’t have apps to help pay bills like those in the developed world. This makes it virtually impossible for people living in a nation that’s still developing to pay bills
The unbanked concept can be hard to grasp for technologically developed countries like the US, Canada, UK and South Korea. But if you were to take a step back and try to imagine what it could be like to “live without a bank account,” how different would your life be?
Now imagine what it would be like to pay bills every month without a bank account. If you have the luxury of living in a country that’s developed, going from having “a bank account” to “not having one” would be like going back to the stone age. This is because situations like having a bank account are a normal, ongoing occurrence in the developed world.
There is an interesting project on the horizon called Treon, Treon provides a direct transfer of value, from customer to business, without the need to wait for transactions to clear with banks or third parties. What this really means is people will be able to purchase Treon tokens (TXO), view their usage, then click to pay your bill. It’s that simple.
On the utility companies side, Treon effectively becomes a “technological partner” (almost like a reseller) for utility companies with insufficient infrastructure to meet the needs of the unbanked. Treon provides utility companies with an easy payment solution, reward incentives for their customers to pay bills earlier, and allows utility companies to scale business with their customers.
The team is comprised of former ICT executives from Fortune 500 companies and advisors from top-level Telecom companies that span Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Treon is tackling a huge problem that makes life easier and more convenient for consumers without access to a bank.
The company is yet to formally announce partners. However, if you were to factor in their team, advisors experience, and industry connections, you would be able to draw the conclusion that Treon could be the most important Blockchain company to emerge in the telecommunications payments space.
One thing’s for certain: this is an area that is in drastic need for a well connected and strategic blockchain driven company to seize this opportunity and provide the 1.7 billion global mobile users who are unbanked a simple way to pay for their utilities.
Are blockchain and cryptocurrency-based solutions like Treon the answer to providing basic financial services to the world’s unbanked population? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Flickr