Many refugees lack the paperwork necessary to open an account, forcing them into the black market. Taqanu wants to use what they do have: smartphones and social media
Refugees are among the most unique groups of people for whom to enable mobile payments and other financial services. Clearly an acute need is there, but modern banking is built upon knowing one’s customers; and when all refugees have are the clothes on their back, cash in their pocket and a mobile phone in their hand, knowing one’s customer becomes an extremely high bar to jump.
A menekültek viszont már a nulladik pontnál elbuknak. A legtöbbjüknek semmilyen papírjuk nincs (személyi, útlevél), a banki azonosításuk a mai gyakorlat szerint így szinte lehetetlen. Ez volt az alapdilemma, amit Némethi Balázs kimazsolázott a menekültkérdés nyilvánvalóan komplex problémahalmazából, és aminek megoldására céget alapított.
One promising idea is to apply looser identity rules to refugees, in exchange for limited banking facilities—for example, with caps on the amount they can have in an account or on transfers of money. BaFin, Germany’s banking regulator, relaxed the terms in 2015, reasoning that it was easier to keep an eye on formal financial services than on informal ones. Taqanu is working on ways to establish identity using people’s digital footprints, such as the location of their mobile phones or their use of social media, to complement often-patchy formal documentation.
An innovative banking solution from Taqanu uses customers’ digital history to allow them to prove their identity rather than traditional paperwork. The application, which will be globally available once it launches, means those that find it difficult to gain access to the necessary paperwork to do things like set up a bank account or rent accommodation, may now be able to using their mobile phones.
Refugees seeking salvation from their war-torn countries are often met with harsh realities in their new homes. Beyond finding ways to educate their children, support their families and avoid prejudice, many refugees lack proper identification — which can complicate their efforts to open a bank account.
Refugees face numerous challenges when they enter a new country, from finding a place to stay to having to learn a new language. Some countries and cities also have requirements refugees are unable to fulfill; for example, in Berlin, a person must have a bank account in order to rent an apartment. Refugees often lack the necessary paperwork, including proof of identity, to open a bank account, so the startup Taqanu developed an alternative.
Dave Birch - Consult Hyperion
Balázs Némethi is the CEO of Taqanu, a startup that wants to provide financial inclusion for refugees. The core of their proposition is the use of a blockchain-based digital identity to create financial services for refugees.
Taqanu wants to provide banking to anyone, regardless of background and available documents. One of their first target user groups is refugees displaced by unrest in Syria, but the potential for a solution like Taqanu extends across refugees, migrants, the financially excluded and beyond – to any user group seeking a digital solution to identity and financial services. Combining digital identity, blockchain and a geography agnostic mobile-only interface, Taqanu seeks to revolutionize financial access for the unbanked.
Fintech and digital financial services are rushing in to help refugees and migrants access and transfer money, but their innovation isn’t just changing how humanitarian aid agencies operate – it’s also offering solutions for broader financial inclusion challenges.
One Young World
By founding Taqanu Bank, Balazs seeks to make banking available to those without a fixed address and grant them access to Europe’s financial system. He aims to provide limited but operational debit cards and checking accounts for those regardless of residency status or available documentation, thereby combatting the financial exclusion migrants and refugees face.