BanQu uses blockchain technology to provide a formal economic identity to the world’s unbanked population. This identity, which is an accumulation of securely recorded transactions, affords access to formal financial services, government services, development assistance and more.

BanQu is the world’s first technology to use blockchain to generate an economic identity and enable financial inclusion. Anyone who has access to a mobile phone can join BanQu, owing to its compatibility with all types of mobile phones, and availability in all languages. Once users create an account, they can start making transactions which are recorded on blockchain, a distributed digital ledger of transactions that is both secure and immutable. Each party in the transaction receives an equal record, which serves to democratise access and ownership of personal data. As these transactions accumulate, they begin to constitute an individual’s economic identity. Transactions need not only be buying and selling – they can also include property records, educational and employment certifications and more.

There are a number of applications in which BanQu is beneficial. Foremost, populations such as refugees and those living in extreme poverty gain access to a secure record of their legal identity. This assists them in accessing formal finance and government services. For development organisations and government agencies, BanQu provides a secure platform for distributing aid and benefits. In addition, it helps to formalise informal economic transactions, manage black markets, and prevent corruption. For companies, BanQu provides a way to connect with suppliers at the bottom of the pyramid – each transaction recorded on BanQu is geo-tagged, allowing products to be traced throughout their value chain. This maximises traceability and transparency throughout the supply chain, and helps firms manage supply chain risks relating to poverty, human rights and the environment.

In June 2018, BanQu partnered with Anheuser-Busch InBev in Zambia to connect 2,000 small scale cassava farmers to BanQu. Cassava is an important source of starch for AB InBev’s local brand, Zambian Breweries. The firms hope to improve traceability and transparency in their supply chain by formalising transactions with farmers at the bottom of the pyramid.

Why you should care

Most people in developed countries take for granted that we can use our passport or other formal identification to access finance and government services. However, it is presently estimated that around 2.5 billion people do not have a formal economic identity, which severely limits their ability to participate in the global economy, access aid and assistance, and more. Because 60% of this population has access to some sort of mobile phone, BanQu has used mobile technology to provide a secure, immutable platform for individuals to store evidence of their identity.

How the Global Goals are addressed

No poverty

BanQu securely records evidence of transactions like property ownership and financial transactions, ultimately creating an economic identity that can be used to give vulnerable people access to economic resources and basic services.

Decent work and economic growth

BanQu has helped over 15,000 people secure their economic identity and gain access to financial services since 2016.