Bitcoins by Money Order Opens Up Financial Services to the World's Underbanked

As digital currency and fintech companies seek solutions for the world's “underbanked” population, startups are increasingly looking to make use of the established financial infrastructure.

The ‘Underbanked’

Companies involved in the world of digital currency are increasingly seeing customers in the developing world as a strong potential market. Proposals range from low-cost remittance services to innovative mobile payment networks, as they often try to revolutionize how people transact.

Now, however, rather than trying to always turn this sector on its head, a second wave of these startups is looking at ways to work alongside existing financial services while taking advantage of digital currencies.

Their target customers are the world's “underbanked.” In 2013, the World Bank found that around 2.5 billion adults (55% of the world's 4.5 billion people over the age of 15) fall under this “underbanked” category.

These individuals were seen to “lack access to formal financial services, limiting their ability to benefit from economic opportunities, improve their health and education, and raise their income levels,” creating a self-fulfilling cycle that's hard to break out of.

The way in which digital currency startups can make a difference in the space therefore, is by providing the financial services that these people lack. By increasing an individual's ability to send, receive and even invest funds, these financial services can give the user a prospect of a better financial future.

Bitcoins by money order

Bridging the world of digital currencies with these potential users though is a difficult proposition. In the case of crypto exchanges, these users would often need an official identity card, formal bank account and usually a debit or credit card in order to access the service. This is a high barrier to entry.

 An emerging alternative however, is to use the financial services that are already popular among the world's underbanked population, such as mobile credits or money transfer services used for remittances.

Cointelegraph spoke to Andrey Vereshchagin, Marketing Director of