BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday December 21, 2017 – Barbados-based financial technology firm Bitt is seeking to turn mobile phones into banks with the recent launch of its mobile money (mMoney) application, through which customers can pay for products and services via their smartphones.
Mobile money, which is distinct from mobile banking, operates similarly to a debit card, allowing customers to use an electronic wallet service on their mobile device to store, send and receive money.
In launching the new app, Chief Executive Officer of Bitt Rawdon Adams said it was his company’s intention to offer all the services offered by commercial banks, including loans, with insurance as a “potential” for the future.
“What we want to do ultimately is that everything the bank can do we want to do it on the phone. So that might mean being able to buy insurance plans, being able to subscribe to a savings plan [and] being able to take out a loan. These are things we plan to bring to the smartphone in the near future,” he said.
The Bitt executive said a number of investors had already lined up to help build the network “that is going to be second to none”.
Adams added that the company was engaging all central banks in the region, insisting there were “massive advantages of having a central bank at the heart of a digitized financial system”.
“For us right now it is more than just planning. Earlier this [month] we had one of the central banks in the region agree to participate in a pilot project with us. We can’t say who it is yet,” he said.
Adams contended that the local informal economy was valued at roughly $3 billion, the majority of which did not have access to the services of a bank or similar financial organization.
He said Bitt intended to use new technology to reach that segment of the market.
Adams said he was confident the digital money wallet would help to solve some challenges small and medium enterprises were facing, including having to wait for cheques to clear and high bank fees.
“There is no delay using our mMoney wallet and mMoney application. It is the same as handing over a $20 bill to somebody next to you. That frees up cash flow and improve liquidity,” he said. (Barbados Today)