Veridium has teamed up with a South Africa-based digital financial services platform to work on a pilot program that could extend access to financial services to many of the unbanked individuals in sub-Saharan countries.
Like another startup that trialed a digital banking platform in Africa earlier this year, Humaniq, Veridium’s new partner, Wala, seeks to use blockchain auditing to enable digital financial services for those who have lacked access. The startup’s platform is based on Ethereum blockchain, and will now be able to use Veridium’s 4 Fingers TouchlessID system to biometrically enroll individuals with Android phones that are up to a decade old, since the system’s fingerprint recognition is enabled using a standard smartphone camera.
Veridium is helping to fund the efforts with the help of a grant awarded by the Digital Financial Services Innovation Lab toward the end of this past summer. The plan is to launch a pilot program that combines Veridium and Wala’s technologies to offer no-fee banking to participants starting in January of next year. The DFSIL is a fintech accelerator program supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the results of the pilot program will be presented to the Gates Foundation at a conference in February.
In a statement announcing the collaboration, Wala CEO Tricia Martinez explained that “[f]inancial services are out of reach for billions of people due to high banking fees and lack of accessibility, forcing them to rely largely on cash,” adding later that Veridium’s technology “allows us to easily and securely bring this solution to the masses in a way that is both accessible and affordable.”
November 16, 2017 – by Alex Perala