Bankymoon Integrates Bitcoin Bill Payments for the Unbanked

April 24, 2015         By: Michael Cheng

Bankymoon, a South African bitcoin startup, is working on an application that would allow individuals to pay for utility bills using digital currency. The company unveiled its revolutionary plans during Bitcoin Conference Africa.

“You’d think that with all the smartness happening in our grid, that the problems are solved. But in fact this brings us to the most difficult and biggest problem of all, which is payments. Your grid could be as smart as you like but if all customers aren’t paying, it’s worthless and it becomes unsustainable and will collapse,” highlighted Bankymoon CEO, Lorien Gamaroff.

The startup’s platform utilizes bitcoin and other virtual currencies to streamline transactions. Through the app, users have the ability to pay for their water or electricity bill without needing to go to a service center or bank. They also have the option to top up someone else’s meter from anywhere in the world.

Gamaroff shines light on the possibilities of the platform using foreign aid as an example. Overseas donors and organizations could easily provide direct contributions to a remote school or village in the form of bill payments.

The bitcoin app also aims to service the underbanked. Individuals without access to basic financial services would be able to pay for reoccurring charges without a traditional bank account.

“Banking might be convenient but not a lot of people have access to it. According to the World Bank’s 2013 data, about half of the world is unbanked. Eighty percent of those are in Africa, 65% in Latin America and nearly 60% in Central Asia Pacific,” said Gamaroff.

The CEO and founder of Bankymoon anticipates that by 2023, 80 percent of the U.S. will be equipped with smart grids.