Blockchain Startup TraXion Brings Financial Inclusion To Unbanked Filipinosbr>
Ann Cuisia-Lindayag is the CEO of blockchain startup TraXion. Cuisia-Lindayag has 20+ years of experience in information technology and has advised several women startup founders. Prior to serial entrepreneurship, she has advanced in the corporate scene of banking and finance and have spent good number of years in payments and fundraising. She has been a pioneer in the Philippines for helping a non-profit organization achieve its digital transformation and online giving facilities.
TraXion, a subsidiary of Pluma Technologies, launched its wallet app in 2017, enabling savings accounts, payments and remittances via a smartphone app. Its finance platform is connected to a range of financial services, including insurance, investment consultancy, peer-to-peer lending and philanthropic crowdsourcing. TraXion is powered by Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology, with many of its features enhanced by smart contract automation.
TraXion is headquartered in the Philippines, where they are fighting for financial inclusion of the 82.6% of the country’s population that remains unbanked or underbanked, and the 10 million overseas workers remitting money back to the country annually.
TraXion aims to fill the gap between the existing financial system and emerging non-user-friendly technologies by presenting a secure and simple way to use payments and banking architecture that aims to lower financial inclusion barriers and provide financial services to the banked and unbanked.
To achieve these objectives, TraXion is conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) for its TXN token, which allows international remittances to process cheaply. The token pre-sale started on May 1 and will last until July 30. The public ICO will run from August 1 to 31.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: When did you realize that you could use blockchain to solve the whole issue of access to financial services for the unbanked?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: We saw how blockchain is going to change all areas of business and even personal lives. In the late 90s, people were saying the internet is going to change the world. And now, everyone is saying blockchain will do the same thing. We totally agree with that.
From my own experience, all services—no matter what technology they are running—pose cumbersome issues that go on forever. I know that there has to be a solution.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What blockchain-based financial services are you offering?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: TraXion has three main features: TraXionWallet will enable all financial services on a distributed platform, including payments, remittances, peer-to-peer lending, investments, insurances, and philanthropy. TraXionChain creates customized business solutions on a permission-based blockchain. And TraXionContract uses smart contracts for transparency and accountability of all information.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How is TraXion different from other products working to serve the the unbanked and underbanked?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: Consumers and businesses find it difficult to work in our current financial system. Transaction and remittance fees are just too high. There is so much bureaucracy, everything is slow and there is not much transparency anymore. This will be resolved.
We want to be one of the companies that enables blockchain technology to run ubiquitously in the background without normal consumers even knowing it, so everybody can enjoy its benefits.
Everyone agrees that we’ll eventually become a cashless, or specifically, a crypto-based society. And TraXion will help consumers and businesses prepare for that eventuality. TraXion wants to transition everyone to a crypto-ready society.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How can businesses benefit from TraXion?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: We do not only provide merchants with the TraXion wallet to use for ecommerce. We also provide merchants with ready-made consumers. Now that is a big difference. And we want enterprises to have end-to-end implementation in their operations. We can provide them with that.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How about partnerships or collaborations?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: There are thousands of partnerships that are possible. We do not intend to work as a silo ecosystem. We are very much aware that there will be other crypto-based ecosystems that are not ours. We are ready to connect with them as well. The objective is to connect everyone – not compete.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How did competition in the local banking scene change following the entry of blockchain technology?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: At present, mobile phone services are far more easily accessible than banking services. There are almost 5 times as many mobile phones in the world as there are active bank accounts. Despite the pervasiveness of mobile device usage today, it has remained a challenge to increase account ownership among the unbanked.
With blockchain technology entering the scene, the growth of mobile banking systems in emerging markets is increasingly being employed as a way to effectively achieve scale and tap these relatively untouched markets.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you see blockchain-based financial services gaining significant prominence in the Philippines in the coming years?
ANNA CUISIA-LINDAYAG: In the Philippines, 66% or 43 million Filipinos 15 years old and above are unbanked. This is already a huge market potential to begin with. There are a lot more industries out there where blockchain can make a difference. With the elimination of bureaucracy and increase of transparency, lives will be much easier, living in a world where everything is faster, more convenient, and trust is not so needed.
Blockchain adoption will move more quickly than anticipated. The companies in the late 90s that quickly adopted the internet became the clear winners. Blockchain will be no different.
- I see more social good coming out of blockchain: transparent/corruption-free aid during disasters, faster distribution of food for the poor, reduced spread of fake drugs, etc.
- The government will not regulate blockchain, but rather regulate through the blockchain as this makes more sense.
- People will start get ownership of their digital identities back through permissioned networks.
- d. There will be more blockchain applications outside of FinTech such as in health, manufacturing and the internet of things.