Taqanu: banking available for all
Banking has been vital for human development since the very beginnings of history. The ability to exchange commodities became one of the most important tools to develop the first local economies. Later the invention of money was crucial step for most civilizations to create a commonly accepted good that could unify and strengthen a single market. The accumulation of wealth also allowed the basic means of safekeeping and for a centralized system of loans to appear. In the Renaissance Italian families such as Medici introduced corporations and double entry bookkeeping for better management of the money they were liable for.
Since then banking has come a long way to keep record of our valuable assets in the forms of 0s and 1s saved on drives very few has access to. By now banking became a complicated and deeply interconnected series of software and hardware solutions, where most people simply have to trust that their money is in safe hands. While governmental regulations constantly tightened to keep up with the advancement of technology and keep track of the ever growing “greedy” banking industry.
However conflicts and the exploitation of resources leave a world with gross inequalities where masses are left behind without the opportunities to access any form of safekeeping besides cash. For example there are hundreds of thousands of organizations providing different ways of micro-lending, however much of them only serve a small number of clients mainly in South East Asia and the Global South. At the same time, other institutions are channeling large sums of impact investment money to underdeveloped regions, but only a few aims to address the practical needs of people to leave poverty and start saving. Some countries in Africa took action on their own and are skipping - the west dictated - bankcard based banking, and started utilizing the widespread coverage of cell networks to use mobile minutes as a form of digital money. While the system is proving successful locally, the implication that the users of the airtime money are commonly unknown to the providers, can cause limitations for a widespread adaptation.
Taqanu started as an idea inspired by the surge of the European refugee influx and the mishandling of the new arrivals by the European member states. It is a simple financial solution that aims to become a banking service that anyone (anywhere) can access regardless of residency or available documentation. It uses the digital footprint and a person´s phone to identify and authenticate people with a very high degree of accuracy and use this newly created digital ID to onboard people to a banking solution. The self-sovereign digital ID gives the ownership of data to our customers with the use of blockchain technology and encryption.
- Balázs Némethi -