Blockchain based banking project Humaniq has released an initial version of its mobile app which aims to tackle the global financial exclusion of some of the world’s poorest communities.
The company, which recently opened offices in London, is initially releasing the app to 1,000 invited people.
Humaniq CEO Alex Fork explained the move: “Launching the app serves two big functions – it lets investors see the service in action and it gives us the data we need to start fine-tuning and adding key features for customers.”
Helping the unbanked
Humaniq wants to provide access to modern financial services to the 2 billion ‘unbanked’ people in the world.
The main innovation that the app has over more established banking app is the use of biometric ID. Humaniq does not employ biometrics to only open the app and verify transactions, but to replace the entire sign up process.
Instead of requiring an email and password to sign up, the new app creates a single user profile using facial and voice recognition algorithms.
“Our initial target audience is people in emerging economies, and many of them don’t have email,” Fork explains. “By using biometric ID we make the signup process more inclusive for people with low literacy while also lowering the opportunity for fraud.”
“Each real person will only ever be able to create one account, and no one will ever be able to steal their account.”
The app will initially be focused on remittance payments and P2P lending and will support a variety of cryptocurrencies. The company plans to open up the app code to third party developers to allow them to plug into the network and provide additional services.
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